She Said Silly That S What I M Going To Show You

[12:24] * Aline was, at the exact moment, dripping wet. Thank god, though… that she was inside. In Paris-2, and indeed France in general, heated pools were basically a must to begin with, and St. Louis' was no different. It was nearing the end of the swim club meeting, and right now, Aline was in her (somewhat showy) blue competition-style swimsuit, pushing not glasses, but goggles up and off of
[12:24] * Aline her face.
[12:30] <Eugenia> Aline wasn't alone of course. The rest of the swim team were milling about, of course, some of them doing an extra lap or two~ Others heading off to the changing rooms. One of them, however, was approaching Aline from behind, clapping her hands on Aline's shoulders. "A-ha. There you are."
[12:33] * Aline almost jumped from the sudden pressure. "Uwhaa-… oh. It's just you." Aline turned around completely, blushing a bit in embarassment. "…Ugh. Still startle-able. But uh!… what had you wanted me for?"
[12:39] <Eugenia> "Look at you~" Eugenia giggled, grabbing Aline around the sides and tickling her furiously. "Startleable and ticklable~"
[12:40] * Aline flailed - possibly uselessly - and waved her arms about, eyes clenched shut in that sort of semi-cutesy expression of stress. "Aaahhhh stopstopstopstop!"
[12:42] * Eugenia didn't- instead she hoisted Aline over one shoulder and started walking off, tickling all the while. "This'll teach you to try to avoid me, you horrible little girl~" Off to the changing rooms!
[12:45] * Aline continued to flail… but quite honestly she just didn't have the fortitude or muscles to /do/ much about it, so she… …basically fit the role of damsel-in-distress for the duration. How frustrating! "H-h-hey what are you d-doing?!"
[12:47] <Eugenia> "You'll see." A minute or two later they'd be in the changing rooms… Where Eugenia would then politely put Aline down on a bench, then stand back and stare at he with her arms folded. "I figured you and I should have a good talk~"
[12:49] * Aline shook her head… not vigorously, but at least enough to honestly look like she was trying to clear it. "Ahh… about…? Sorry, this is very sudden…"
[12:53] <Eugenia> "Everything. Anything, even. You can tell me~"
[12:56] * Aline nervously tugged at the neckline of her swimsuit, still blushing. "Uh… er… I don't quite know what to say. I figured with you talking abuot me avoiding you that must've meant you wanted to know about that and then continue on to something else but…" She looked back and forth a few times. "…You could probably already guess I know a little bit about your past, couldn't you?"
[13:04] <Eugenia> "I assumed as much~"
[13:14] * Aline nodded. "R… right. I avoided you because, at the time, something about you /existing/ terrified me. I had heard you had nearly been consumed by 00. I know in my experience that that kind of thing is rather literally draining, and that being less than oneself is… disturbing. There are still moments where I can just tell I've been /changed/ by it, and not in a happy way." She
[13:14] * Aline shook her head. "So to see you being overly cheery and the like… brr. I don't know. It was somehow disturbing." But Aline looked at a stray changing-room locker for a second. "Of course, nowadays there's far far more serious things to be disturbed about than just someone whose behavior defies what you thought was something inevitable that you yourself suffered."
[13:19] <Eugenia> "Well see, you should've just asked. 'Eugenia, how do you remain so perky and cheerful despite nearly being devoured'?"
[13:22] * Aline exhaled rapidly. She still didn't look that comfortable. "It's an incredibly sensitive subject, and before the amount of shit-hitting-the-fan got as bad as it had lately, it felt somehow still… 'too much'. That and one usually doesn't have the courage to ask that of someone they're sort of scared of in that way. Even really social and cheery people can make me uncomfortable, after
[13:22] * Aline all…"
[13:24] <Eugenia> "Why's that?"
[13:24] * Eugenia asked not in a tone of curiosity, but in a tone of leading-the-question, as a teacher might.
[13:32] * Aline knitted her hands. "I'm not /entirely/ sure. Something about the intense personal energy they give off."
[13:36] <Eugenia> "Ultimately, you're afraid of being overwhelmed by them?"
[13:39] <Aline> "Maybe? It irritates me a bit, like they're rushing right past me and into me and basically beating my ability to see what the hell is going on, senseless."
[13:43] <Eugenia> "Funny. It almost sounds like the AT Fields of their personalities are absorbing yours~"
[13:44] * Aline frowned. "That can't be literally true. Even if it was it'd be very mild!"
[13:44] <Eugenia> "Oh, it's not literally true~" She ruffled Aline's hair. "I'm speaking in metaphor."
[13:50] * Aline stared up briefly. "Y… yeah. I should've realized that." But she looked down in thought. "…So what now? How exactly are we supposed to relate to one another?" …That prior frown became a hard-to-place twisty expression. "I'm so on the spot right now…"
[13:52] <Eugenia> "Go get changed, ok? I'll take you out to a cafe and we can relax and enjoy a low-energy conversation where you won't feel intimidated."
[13:55] * Aline slowly nodded. "Okay then…" Despite the trailing pause, she didn't sound unenthusiastic, just stressed. Either way, Aline would start to change, get her glasses, that sort of thing.
[13:58] * Eugenia would quickly get changed as well! Into a casual dress-and-woollen-coat deal.
[14:02] * Aline was wearing one of her simple black dresses, the kind that was more winter-ready casual wear than it was 'the' black dress thought of as formalwear. As one might by now predict, she let Gina lead her to the cafe
[14:07] <Eugenia> The cafe was close to the school- Gina would order a sundae, and then let Aline order whatever she liked. She sat down at the outside table, staring at the sky contemplatively.
[14:09] * Aline had decided on just a simple sundae of her own, and sat down as well. "So… uh…" She really didn't know how to begin.
[14:11] <Eugenia> "Should I begin?"
[14:14] * Aline nodded quickly. "Please."
[14:15] <Eugenia> "How's that boyfriend of yours going?"
[14:17] <Aline> "Oh… uh…" Aline was still a bit awkward. "We try to keep in touch through email and phonecalls, since we have different assignments. Though that whole party thing was fun… if utterly embarrassing…"
[14:18] <Eugenia> "Oh?"
[14:22] * Aline was now /beet red/. "W-w-well they talked me into drinking. I… I warned them. I really did. Do… do you know what I do when I start drinking?"
[14:30] * Eugenia folded one leg over the other and stared at Aline curiously. "… Public displays of affection? No. More than that. You became… Excited."
[14:36] * Aline nodded. "Exc…essively so. I embarrassed myself so badly the last time I drank that I basically swore it off. Doing that right at the onset of puberty didn't help…" She briefly shook her head. "…if I didn't know that all said you're probably 'safe' to talk to on this level, I'd be wondering why the hell I'm saying so much about something so embarrassing. But uh, anyway, yeah.
[14:36] * Aline Lots of it. Only that my boyfriend /was/ there made it at all acceptable. Some of the last things I can keep clear in my head were Yanmei giving me these /terrified/ kinda looks of mortification. I don't want to know what I'd do if Shinji wasn' there, or worse, if it was some time where I got talked into drinking before I was in a relationship…"
[14:45] * Eugenia beamed. "You poor thing. And poor Shinji, too. Although I'm -sure- he would've enjoyed it~" She winked. "But you weren't alone that night in being embarrassing…"
[14:53] * Aline nodded a little. "…Ah. As strange as it sounds, right after telling a whole lot… you don't /need/ to give me a tell-all. You… must've been hanging out with some of the other adults that weren't the Ikaris, right?…" A pause. "…Possibly including Misato. Okay, I think I have a good idea already."
[14:54] <Eugenia> "Of course. Misato was the one who told Rei to liquor everyone up~" she beamed. "But I also drank with Captain Marianne and Raphael Guillory."
[14:56] * Aline vaguely tilted her head. "…So while embarrassing in the slight… that must've had a lot more of an anchor than the other party had. A mere Gendo Ikari versus his own wife, almost-daughter-in-law, sorta-daughter, son, and Sera… decorum and seriousness fought a futile battle that night."
[14:57] * Eugenia grins. "Don't worry. Decorum was under assault with us, too. Poor Marianne just cannot hold her liquor~ she started cuddling up to Sir Guillory."
[14:59] <Aline> "Ahhhh." For Aline, that was just a simple declaration. She seemed to not have the same shipping sense that Yanmei did.
[15:04] <Eugenia> "I passed out at some point, though. I think I became a little… Mmm. Down."
[15:06] * Aline frowned, nigh-grimaced at that. "…Oosh. Sad drunk… not a good trait to hold."
[15:13] <Eugenia> "I've had plenty to be sad about recently." Murmured Eugenia, staring wistfully down at her sundae. She took a spoonful. "Plenty. That's the price I pay."
[15:18] <Aline> "Yeah… I don't know what to say to that. It's been pretty bad all around." Aline bit her lip, and by the way was totally having her own sundae all along. "I at least am trying to push myself into feeling… not-terrible by throwing myself into trying to blow up the worst of it, and make nice with the things that I shouldn't blow up." An awkward pause. "…That was an oversimplification.
[15:18] <Aline> But basically a lot of what's bothering me happens to be a villain I'm allowed to, maybe even supposed to, fight against very literally. The rest… well I can at least /try/ to comfort people."
[15:26] <Eugenia> "…" Said Eugenia, nibbling at her sundae. "It's something I know how to handle. It's something you need to learn to handle, too."
[15:29] * Aline peered a bit closer at Gina, taking a bit of her own sundae. "…Oh. The way you said that made it seem like you either hadn't and were confiding in me, or that you didn't really want to say so either way. But… well. What /about/ me learning that?"
[15:35] <Eugenia> "I think…" Eugenia stared at Aline in a steady, unblinking fashion. "I think you need to stop for a second and realise that nothing's changed except you."
[15:38] * Aline raised a brow. "…Really? And how far are we even extending that, rhetorically?"
[15:39] <Eugenia> "Endlessly."
[15:40] <Aline> "…Okay, you are going to have to explain this to me, because I was under the impression that Sera's been acting differently and Yanmei's had a lot of stuff to deal with she hadn't before and so on." Aline got a sheepish look on her face. "If I'm supposed to not take it /that/ literally please say so."
[15:42] * Eugenia pushed her sundae out into the middle of the table. Then she picked up a salt shaker, and shook salt onto the table near the sundae- and did the same for the pepper. Finally she did the same with a satchel of sugar as well.
[15:44] * Aline …stared. "…So I messed up that bad in understanding it."
[15:45] <Eugenia> "Do you understand now?"
[15:45] <Aline> "Not really. I was just commenting on the fact that for you to get out the visual aids probably meant I missed the point."
[15:48] <Eugenia> "Missed the point, or perhaps I haven't made the point just yet. Simply put, the salt, the pepper and the sugar are all placed around the sundae, but they don't affect the sundae's taste unless I actually let it. The salt, pepper and sugar aren't -new-. They've always existed, they're just shifting around. Simply put, for the sufficiently strong of mind, the only reason they ever change is because they let things change them. To them, nothing changes except yourself."
[15:50] * Aline felt suddenly and swiftly reminded of someone else. Someone a bit more male with eyes more red. Mostly in terms of the… description of a different, yet somehow more 'powerful' or at least dominant, mental landscape. "…I'm not sure if I can do that. In a sense, I'm not sure if I should."
[15:51] <Eugenia> "And why not?"
[15:53] * Aline pushed her fingers together, but only for a moment. "This is just a guess, but I feel like… like being concerned about the things around me is something important to me. Concerned enough that it /does/ affect me. I've been numbed by things before, and while I don't think that's the same thing as what you're talking about, I can compare the two in my head enough to know that I sort
[15:53] * Aline of don't… like being so unaffected. Even if it protects me from pains that I /need/ to not feel."
[16:02] * Eugenia slowly smiled, and reached out to take her sundae back. "I'm not saying that you need to be ignorant of events, or numbed to what happens. It's a matter of willpower, of choosing how to change."
[16:06] <Aline> "…Ah." A sigh from Aline, as she worked her way into her sundae. In some respect, she'd been eating it a bit more heavily. "I feel that I have to conclude that I'm not that strong, yet. Based on that."
[16:06] <Eugenia> "Or you want to be the way you are."
[16:07] * Aline thought on that. "…On one hand, the determination to stand and just say 'no' to all of these horrible things that confront me does sound right on that mark, but… I still have my anxieties and it's still hard for me to feel right around people. I'm not sure why I'd want to be those latter things."
[16:11] <Eugenia> "Perhaps you like feeling apart."
[16:13] <Aline> "Maybe. It'd explain why the more-sociable people bother me so much." Aline shrugged, but it was such a long shrug as to be an overdone gesture. "Just seems a bit of a perverse desire to have, somehow. Unless that's just what I've been told to think it is."
[16:15] <Eugenia> "I remember once wanting to be apart from everyone else, you know." Said Eugenia.
[16:19] * Aline blinked. "…Is that so. I take it you pretty obviously decided against that?"
[16:21] <Eugenia> "I realised that the first time I wanted to be apart, it was because of sheer unfounded arrogance. The second time was because it hurt too much to be alone."
[16:23] * Aline nigh-instinctively saddened at the sound of the second. "…Ee… Sorry to hear that. I… guess I'd just rather… I don't know. Take shelter? Feel like I'm not bombarded by the desires of others. So that I can just go out, be with who I want to be, then have the right to be myself again."
[16:23] <Eugenia> "Heehee." Eugenia reached over and tickled Aline. "Silly~ That's what I'm going to show you!"
[16:26] * Aline recoiled from the vile invading tickle!… Even if she was forced to laugh a little. "Y-you…" Composure. "Erm. You mean what we're doing now, or something new?"
[16:33] <Eugenia> "Mmhm. Basically what we're doing now. Today, I'm going to be -aggressively normal- at you. You want to go see a movie?"
[16:35] * Aline tilted her head. "…Eh. I actually don't really like sitting and watching something like that for so long. What if we went sightseeing around town or something?"
[16:37] <Eugenia> "That works too~" A sly look. "Should we go see the Louvre before you or the others demolish it again?"
[16:42] <Aline> "Ah! That'd be a great idea. After The W… Sathan…ga… Uh the Eleventh Angel." Name game, Aline. It is hard to play. "Got into the underground storage, I have to wonder what the hell they're showing this time."
[16:43] <Eugenia> "The same things, but with the damage touted as a feature." Joked Eugenia as she started rapidly finishing off her sundae.
[16:44] * Aline made a little pout. "That's no fun." …She had already finished, though.
[16:44] <Eugenia> "Heehee. Actually, I think they have a new exhibit on~"
[16:51] * Aline began slowly moving to stand. "Oh, really?"
[16:52] <Eugenia> "'The Divine throughout the centuries'. Artwork and the like focusing on gods."
[17:01] * Aline …smirked broadly. "How cute. Why do I sense some kind of distinct level of cosmic irony, what with my day job - and what I intend to do with it?"
[17:11] <Eugenia> "More than cosmic irony. You'll s-"-
[17:11] * Eugenia grabbed Aline's arm and pointed at something. A bus.
[17:21] * Aline …stared over at it. "Okay what is th-" In theory, what she was about to see would merit the cutoff.
[17:21] <Eugenia> [The bus drove by, but one side of it was painted over with an advertisement.-
[17:24] <Eugenia> [The advertisement showed an anime-style scene- EVA-04 roaring across the Paris-2 skyline towards something that looked like Jamaerah; it faded into a picture of Sera looking wistfully up at a building with a smile; and finally one of Aline in a swimsuit, winking at the observers. In large, angular letters, the advertisement pronounced:-
[17:24] <Eugenia> ["XENO WAR: EVANGELION! coming to a theater near you by Christmas!"]
[17:28] * Aline openly stared. "… …The Student was hardly even a… and why am I the fanservice I thought that was Yanmei's thing." …But then she smirked. "Sera looking like he's deeply in love with Paris itself, though. They got that spot-on."
[17:29] <Eugenia> "This is going to be -amazing-…"

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