She Said So I Ll Stick With You Or Stand Against You If That

[13:32] <Yanmei> It was not fair to say that Yanmei was ditching work on this sunny afternoon. She had called her trainers with a legitimate excuse about visiting a sick friend. It also just so happened to be an excuse that allowed her to avoid running into Dorian for a day or so, so it suited her just fine even if it meant that she had to back up said excuse with actions.-
[13:35] <Yanmei> She headed over after school and now stood before the home of a political rival, a folder tucked under one arm, and a convenience store bag full of drinks dangling from the same hand.
[13:39] <Eugenia> [The apartment building was close to her own, thankfully. But it was empty. In fact, even by Paris-2 standards it was gloomy and empty…]
[13:43] <Yanmei> So many fled or killed. She thought of survival-horror videogames as she drifted through the shadows, her footsteps loud in otherwise still hallway floors. Pixelated blood. She chuckled.-
[13:44] <Yanmei> Finally, she checked the address she had been given against the number of a door and knocked.
[13:45] <Eugenia> Silence…-
[13:46] <Eugenia> It took a few minutes before the sound of someone shuffling across the apartment floor. An irregular gait… The door opened.-
[13:46] <Eugenia> "Oh."-
[13:48] <Eugenia> Eugenia looked -tired-. Her face bore none of the usual signs of tiredness such as dark circles around the eyes or the like, but… The way she held herself… It wasn't the straight-backed confidence Yanmei was used to- Eugenia's shoulders were slightly hunched. She leaned on a cane, and she stared at the ground before lifting her eyes to look at Yanmei. Pained, pained eyes… "Hi…"
[13:55] <Yanmei> "…" Yanmei stared a moment. This wasn't the Gina she was used to seeing. "Drinks. And homework," she announced, lifting her own shoulders high, head tilted cockily in some sort of unspoken challenge.
[13:57] <Eugenia> "Great." She turned around and started walking into the apartment. The door was left open.
[13:59] <Yanmei> Snubbed. Or… ignored in favor of bigger fish. Yanmei pursed her lips together for a moment, and followed her in, closing the door behind her.
[14:02] <Eugenia> [The apartment was a mess. It was plainly obvious that Eugenia had come home and hadn't bothered to clean.-
[14:02] * Eugenia gestured vaguely towards the refrigerator and collapsed onto the couch.
[14:04] <Yanmei> "When did they let you out, anyway?" Yanmei made herself busy in the kitchen, and with small talk. She wasn't sure if Eugina would take her up on it at this rate, though.
[14:21] <Eugenia> "Two weeks ago." Eugenia pulled herself along the couch, lying apathetically across all three seats.
[14:23] <Yanmei> "You should have made a bigger production out of it. For a while it was like you just disappeared. Although I guess that was your intention?" She stood up straight and stepped back, closing the fridge. The extras were in the fridge, but she still had a can in each hand.
[14:26] <Eugenia> "Who cares."
[14:31] <Yanmei> Silence. Until she reached the couch, that was, her shadow falling over her hostess. "Are you even looking at yourself?" She planted a can on the coffee table, -hard-. "'Who cares?' Seriously?"
[14:33] * Eugenia looked up at Yanmei flatly.
[14:38] * Yanmei glared back. "It was those people who died in the tunnels, wasn't it? The kids with your group and Amelia."
[14:45] <Eugenia> "…" She looked away now. "What do you mean?"
[14:48] <Yanmei> "You're not acting this way because of any physical injury, so it must be something else. I wasn't there when all those things happened to you guys? But I do know that awful things went down."
[14:50] <Eugenia> "Do you know how Amelia died?"
[14:52] <Yanmei> "No." She didn't let her gaze fall away, though. "But I do know that she was tough as all hell, so whatever happened must have been bad."
[15:01] <Eugenia> "She took a full set of claws to the guts. Nicholas told me. It would've torn up her stomach, intestines, liver…" Eugenia stared flatly at the ground. "A wound like that is a death sentence. You start bleeding to death, and the pain just pushes you to your knees." She clenched her fist. "Amelia didn't let it drop her. She killed her attacker. Then she killed the one that dropped me. Then finally she killed one more before she died." Eugenia looked up at Yanmei. "Why is it that she was able to live that much longer purely on willpower, and keep on fighting, when I couldn't?"-
[15:02] <Eugenia> "I was supposed to be more than this." She closed her eyes. "I was supposed to be… Instead I fell and bled, and someone very important to me died. Because I wasn't Amelia Chevalier."
[15:11] <Yanmei> "Amelia was Amelia, and you're you." She did seem a little bothered by this now. "That much willpower… just what are you supposed to be, anyway? Someone who could match her? Could -anyone- match her?"
[15:16] <Eugenia> "Once upon a time I could've had the power to keep Camille alive. More than alive… Now I'm just a weak shadow. A weak, lonely shadow." She said, her voice a monotone. "It didn't used to be like this. Once upon a time, I didn't care about being lonely."
[15:24] <Yanmei> "You wouldn't be so lonely if you didn't keep yourself cooped up in here." Yanmei huffed. "It won't bring him back, sure. But weren't you trying to make a life for yourself as you are now? Regardless if you're as strong as Amelia or not? Does that suddenly not matter anymore?"
[15:35] <Eugenia> "You shouldn't be giving advice without understanding what's going on yourself."
[15:38] <Yanmei> "Advice nothing. I'm just talking about what I see from what I've pieced together." Yanmei folded her arms. "Enlighten me, if you don't like it."
[15:53] <Eugenia> "For the longest time I've held myself up above humanity. I didn't need them. They didn't need me. I didn't care that I was alone. I was strong. I was independent." She looked up at Yanmei. "Then one day, my reason for holding myself apart went away. They took it from me." She curled her hand into a fist, suddenly bristling with fury. "My freedom from destiny. My power. What was -mine-, they took…" The anger flooded out as soon as it came. "And so I became debased, trying desperately to regain some semblance of that which I had lost. But what I found came with a price. I could never truly untangle myself from humanity. And so I mingled. And one by one my barriers collapsed. I fell in love. Suddenly, the mind which saw importance in everything now saw importance only in love. And when that love vanished, I… Allowed myself to remain a part of humanity, but separate as well, just like everyone else. I would find importance in everything, but I would seek companionship as well." She lowered her head, closing her eyes. A thin line of tears started to form beneath them. "My last claim to superiority is gone. I'm nothing anymore. Camille is gone. I-I couldn't keep him safe." She curled up slowly, trembling. "I feel -weak-, and helpless. I hate this feeling. I hate being so hurt! I -hate- it! He's gone, Yanmei! And it's -my- fault. This time it was my own weakness…" She… Shattered, the tears rolling.
[16:03] * Yanmei stared, not knowing how to stop her, and then deciding that it was better not to stop her, and that it was okay for those feelings to pour out in the open. There were odds and ends in her purse. Tissues… some morphine. She took several of the former and held it out to her.
[16:09] * Eugenia reached out, but grabbed Yanmei
[16:09] <Eugenia> 's hand- and held it, not letting go.
[16:12] * Yanmei almost pulled back in her surprise, but didn't. After a moment, she slipped her fingers between hers and applied just the tiniest bit of pressure, as if to remind her that she was still there.
[16:15] <Eugenia> "Please help me…" She clung to that hand.
[16:18] <Yanmei> It was a while before she spoke. Thinking of what to say felt so painfully difficult, and the last time she had tried to blunder through it, she had ended up egging on a person to punch her in the face. -
[16:24] <Yanmei> "I'm not very good at these sort of talks. But I do know that it's okay to hate. Your circumstances, the people who hurt you before, the monsters who took Camille and Amelia, even yourself." She closed her eyes for a moment. "You can curl up in a ball and hate yourself, but you can't stay that way forever. And… it would make other people sad. People who would want to…"-
[16:26] <Yanmei> Awkward time. Was she seriously saying this to a rival? Or friend? What the hell was Eugenia, anyway? "..to help you move forward. Or to get stronger. Or to find a place in the world. You're not alone."
[16:28] * Eugenia slowly opened her eyes, tear-filled and sore-looking as they were now. She looked up at Yanmei. "You…?"
[16:33] <Yanmei> "I couldn't understand a lot of things in your story. But certain feelings…" she struggled. "Feeling trapped. The guilt of something precious being destroyed that you meant to preserve. Loss. Love?"
[16:40] <Yanmei> "You're a strong person, Gina. You'd have to be. So I'll stick with you, or stand against you, if that's what you need to get going again."
[16:43] * Eugenia was silent.-
[16:44] <Eugenia> Slowly she let out a long, long sigh, struggling to sit up and not quite making it. "I was wrong, Yanmei, to think I could do this alone. Please… Stick with me. Until I don't need it anymore."
[16:50] * Yanmei tugged on her hand, a slight struggle against gravity to get her sitting again. She smiled. "Sure. Until you don't need it anymore." That smile turned into a grin.
[16:52] * Eugenia lifted herself with a heave, sitting upright. "Of course. Just because I won't need it doesn't mean I won't want it after that fact." She let out a tiny, tiny smile.
[16:55] <Yanmei> "Come on, now. Didn't you want to beat me at a certain something at some point? Hope you don't forget about things like that because of this support thing. It was actually a little thrilling?"
[16:57] <Eugenia> "… Hah." She lets her smile turn into a little smirk. "Well if you want it to remain thrilling, you're going to have to help me with something."
[16:58] <Yanmei> "Oh?"
[17:01] <Eugenia> "Can you help me clean up…?" She looked around. "I haven't showered since I got back."
[17:04] <Yanmei> "Well obviously? You don't exactly smell like roses." But inside, there was a certain amount of relief. "What do you need? Shampoo? I'll run errands, but I'm not paying for it."
[17:05] <Eugenia> "I have all that. Just… Can you make lunch for me?"
[17:08] <Yanmei> "Sure. Though it will be a pain in such a messy kitchen? There's no helping it." She started to roll her sleeves up, and stood as well. "I'll clean up as I go along too."
[17:11] <Eugenia> "Don't put yourself out. We wouldn't want you to dirty those hands of yours with -work-, Pretty Princess Yanyan." Said Eugenia dryly. "… Thanks, though."
[17:13] <Yanmei> "Don't thank me yet." An over the shoulder grin as she started for the kitchen, as promised. "Unless you went shopping recently? It will probably be something really simple."
[17:14] <Eugenia> "Then you'll have to take me to your place. Maybe Isaiah can cook me something… Special?" She started to hobble away.
[17:16] <Yanmei> "You're eating here!" She commanded. A slight flurry of movement from the kitchen, though it was probably obsured from Gina's view.
[17:17] <Eugenia> "I wonder if I should tell you or not." Murmurs Eugenia teasingly before she vanishes into the bathroom.
[17:19] <Yanmei> "Huh? Tell me…?" She peeked around the corner, at the closing door.
[17:20] <Eugenia> "Oh no. It'll remain his and my secret forever-~" The door closed.
[17:24] <Yanmei> "Hey!" Yanmei glared at the door, and then turned back to her stack of dishes in a huff. "Stupid *muttermutter* Maybe I should break one of these…"
[22:08] <Eugenia> [Eugenia took a -long- time in the shower. About 45 minutes…-
[22:08] <Eugenia> [But eventually she emerged, a fresh blue towel wrapped around her body, cane in hand.-
[22:09] <Eugenia> "I feel beautiful again~" Said Eugenia, stretching a little. "How's the food going?"
[22:14] <Yanmei> The food was already prepared and on display - toasted cheese sandwiches kept warm over a very low flame. The untouched dricks that Yanmei had brought over rested on a nearby counter as well.-
[22:18] <Yanmei> As for the kitchen itself, it wasn't spotless by any stretch just yet. But the dishes had been cleaned and put away, the counters wiped off, and the floor swept. "You sure did take your time," Yanmei complained, dropping a few things into a garbage can. She had discovered and thrown on a checkered pink-and-white apron, which… wents rather badly with her uniform.
[22:18] <Yanmei> ^went
[22:28] <Eugenia> "But I was -dirty-." Countered Eugenia, vanishing into her bedroom, emerging five minutes later in a red t-shirt and blue skirt. She headed over to the kitchen. "What did the great chef of Paris-2 make for me?"
[22:36] <Yanmei> "Sandwiches. I told you it would be simple~" The apron came off and she draped it on a hanging hook that she had discovered by the kitchen door. "Feeling any better? you certainly look it."
[22:37] <Eugenia> "How gourmet." Said Eugenia dryly, before looking up at Yanmei with a shaky smile. "I feel… Like it's worth trying to make myself look better, at least. It's a start. I feel a little light now, but I know about a minute after you leave I'm going to sort of crumple again."
[22:39] <Yanmei> "Geeze, then I'll have to stick around for a while, then, won't I?" She slid the sandwiches onto plates and started to carry them to a newly-cleaned off dining table. "I can stay overnight, if you want."
[22:41] <Eugenia> "I should be ok. I can let myself crumple, so long as you don't stay away too long." She glanced up at Yanmei. "… Unless it's ok if I stay with you?"
[22:44] <Yanmei> "…" Yanmei had to think about that one. On one hand, she would be bringing her in a place where Isaiah was staying. On the other hand, she felt more secure sleeping in that place, especially knowing that there were weapons close at hand, should she ever wake up in the middle of the night and need them.-
[22:47] <Yanmei> So staying in her own apartment was much better than sleeping at Gina's. Keeping an eye on both her and Isaiah was also better than letting either to their own devices at this point. "You really want to, huh? This isn't a scheme to snuggle up to Isaiah when I'm not looking, is it~?"
[22:50] <Eugenia> "I hardly think I could 'snuggle' him without you knowing. I doubt your bed is -that- big…" She toyed with her sandwich. "… Unless you and Isaiah… -Don't- share a bed…~?" She made an evil little grin.
[22:53] <Yanmei> "…we will as long as you're there!" Yanmei said firmly, the fires of competition burning brightly. "You can sleep in his room."
[22:57] <Eugenia> "You're no fun." said Eugenia. "But thanks, anyway. I appreciate it."
[23:01] <Yanmei> "Yeah, it's fine." Yanmei waved away the thanks. "I said I'd help you through this, so putting you up for a few nights is the least I can do."
[23:03] * Eugenia nods slowly. "I'll try to earn my keep. I promise I'll try to stay away from your boy." She said with a smirk. "I'll try to clean up as best I can, too." She started on her sandwiches with earnest. "You know…"
[23:04] <Yanmei> "Hm?" Yanmei was starting to eat too. She'd made sure to leave a few ingredients out in case Gina wanted seconds. She probably hadn't easten properly in a while…
[23:04] <Yanmei> ^eaten
[23:06] <Eugenia> "I'm a little surprised." Said Eugenia. "I was honestly expecting you to ask me about some of the things I said." She glanced up at Yanmei. "You know. The… Unnatural elements."
[23:10] * Yanmei gave a little laugh. "Well, you know, I wanted to? But I didn't think you'd want to share." She stared down at her sandwich. "You haven't had the best past. I picked up on that much. If it was me, I wouldn't want anyone knowing about how I'd been 'debased'. At least, not the details."
[23:12] <Eugenia> "I want to tell you." Said Eugenia. "But… You should keep it a secret. For your own benefit, and mine, too."
[23:13] <Yanmei> "I'm good at keeping secrets." For the moment, she looked rather serious. "You don't have to worry."
[23:14] <Eugenia> "It's a lot of pressure for you, too…" Eugenia looked up at her and held her gaze.
[23:18] <Yanmei> "Not as much as you'd think." She took another bite. "Even if it was? I could handle it. I'm a big girl, after all."
[23:19] <Eugenia> "Well then." She turned away and looked out the window.-
[23:19] <Eugenia> "I was the first person to pilot an Evangelion. Theoretically, at least. The first to achieve Synchronisation."
[23:20] * Yanmei watched her out of the corner of her eye. "That's a really big accomplishment. But… you must've been pretty young at the time?"
[23:27] <Eugenia> "In a sense." Eugenia smiled. "I wasn't really human to begin with. I was grown in a vat like an Ayanami."
[23:30] <Yanmei> "Like Ayanami was?" Yanmei looked at her directly again, trying to decide how to take this. "You too?"
[23:32] <Eugenia> "That's right. Unlike the Ayanamis though I wasn't cloned from a human being. I was a hybrid from the beginning." She smiled humourlessly. "A hybrid of human and something else."
[23:34] <Yanmei> A number of things flashed through her mind. The EVAs. Lilith. "That being…?" she ventured.
[23:35] <Eugenia> "I was the living vessel of the mother of all Lilim: I -was- Lilith."
[23:39] <Yanmei> "That thing that created all life on this planet?" Her sandwich was more or less forgotten by now. She shifted uncomfortably. "When you said before that your power was stolen from you, what did you mean?"
[23:41] <Eugenia> "…" Eugenia stared coldly at the window. "You are aware that the Evangelions are all genetically similar facsimiles based off of Adam, yes? Essentially, at their core, they are all variable clones of the Mother of the Angels."
[23:44] <Yanmei> "A colleague of mine once mentioned that it was possible that one of the EVAs was created from Lilith instead of an Angel. Or the Mother of Angels, rather."
[23:45] <Eugenia> "There was one." Said Eugenia. "One that was grown from the body of Lilith. The one I was supposed to pilot."
[23:49] <Yanmei> "What happened? Rejection…?" She thought briefly of Alexandre Fontaine.
[23:52] <Eugenia> "No." Muttered Eugenia bitterly. "The body of Lilith tried to reclaim its birthright. For one brief moment, the body and soul of Lilith were reunited and whole for the first time in billions of years. I was seconds away from starting Third Impact."-
[23:54] <Eugenia> "… I nearly succeeded. But -it- intervened. The soul of the Evangelion tried to destroy me, to deny the body. It went berserk, and somehow, it kept Lilith's reunification from happening. I guess its willpower was just that much greater than mine, even moreso than the soul of Lilith, weakened as it was." Eugenia bowed her head.-
[23:59] <Eugenia> "After that, they ripped her from my body, took away my divinity. They sealed me away in a vat. When I awoke, I had been conditioned to forget everything that had ever happened. I still had some small fragment of her power, absorbed into my soul thanks to my Angelic DNA…" She curled her hand into a fist. "But to exert that power would tear at my very soul, my body, until I destroyed myself for a brief, brief second of divinity." She let out a defeated sigh.-
[00:00] <Eugenia> "Over time, my memories have returned, spurned by pain, by love. Until now I stand before you, fully aware of who I am, and what I was." She turned to stare at Yanmei. "I -wanted- to start Impact. I hungered for it. I knew I could make the world a better place." She looked away.-
[00:01] <Eugenia> "… I was a fool. Lilith never changes, especially for the petty dreams of a Lilim. Any who use her power will find themselves nothing more than a puppet to her." She closed her eyes. "In the end, I, who was once free of Destiny's grip, am now its slave."
[00:13] <Yanmei> Yanmei made a fist with one of the hands that had slid into her lap at the story, but it loosened now, the gesture becoming ultimately useless. "Her soul was inside of you? Co-existing with your own consciousness?" She frowned, looking down. "Wanting to starting third impact so badly. Were those your own motivations, or hers?"
[00:17] <Eugenia> "I don't know." Said Eugenia. "I never, ever knew. All I knew was that when the opportunity, the path was open to me, I took it. And I played right into Lilith's hands. I did exactly what she wanted. Even if they were my own motivations, she could've been forcing her own into me."
[00:21] <Yanmei> "And no one else knows that you've remembered this all?" She gave a wry little smile. "If they did, NERV would be a little more wary about you coming back into town." … "Why -did- you come back, actually?"
[00:22] <Eugenia> "I was lonely…"
[00:24] <Yanmei> "Oh." Yanmei nodded a little. Loneliness. She had talked about that before, a little. "Back then, there must have been people you knew and liked… right?"
[00:25] <Eugenia> "Not really. The only person who ever showed me kindness was Azariah Caine."
[00:28] <Yanmei> "Wh-?!" She actually started at that, rising slightly out of her seat for a moment. A hint of panic started to invade her features.
[00:32] <Eugenia> "Even he tried to use me in the end. Tried to use me to build his God Machine." Eugenia shook her head miserably. "The fool…" She stood up, looking towards Yanmei. "Now you see why being so weak that I was unable to protect someone I loved from the mere shades of an Angel caused me such grief. Me, who once nearly ended the world… Reduced to this." She let out a long sigh. "Now I'm almost entirely Lilim, except for that small sliver. Torn between the two… I'm just like everyone else now, despite everything."
[00:38] <Yanmei> The reminder about her pain made her settle down just a bit. It bothered her, though, nagged at her thoughts. Azariah Caine. What was a God Machine? "Is being human really so terrible?" she mumbled. "I've been told that it is. That we're weak. That we have to follow 'destiny' without being able to change it. But hearing that just makes me indignant."
[00:43] <Eugenia> "Destiny is not just some word people throw around. It's a metaphysical concept. I…" She shook her head. "My happiest- and saddest- memories stem from my new life. I am diminished, but… I feel -alive-, now." She sighed. "There are times where something deep inside me longs for that power once again, but… Well. No matter." She looked at Yanmei. "Humanity is weak, but it has a power all of its own. Despite its weakness, it can hold its own against the Children of Adam… Humanity fights as hard as it can to throw off Destiny. To assert your will over that of Destiny, all you need is one little gap…"-
[00:43] <Eugenia> "… Sorry. I'm really tired. Is it ok if we stop now? I want to grab my clothes and everything."
[00:48] <Yanmei> "Y-yeah. We can stop." She still had more questions, but those could wait. She gazed at her a little worriedly, and then shifted into a smile. "It wouldn't be a bad thing to have some time to think about this too?"
[00:50] <Eugenia> "Stopping and thinking is a good thing. Most people don't do it. Either they don't think, or worse, they think and don't stop." She smiled. "Want to help me pack?"
[00:52] <Yanmei> "Why not?" she stood up, offered a tiny smirk that hinted of her old self. "If you need help picking out which pajamas to bring? I would suggest the non-sexy kind. Isaiah isn't interested, so you'd be sparing yourself the effort."
[00:53] <Eugenia> "Who needs pajamas?" She smirked right back. "Is he that wrapped around your finger, anyway? Damn…"
[00:57] <Yanmei> "Yeah. You're a little late." The smugness was practically tangible. "You should know that my other roommate would probably want you wearing clothes at night too."
[00:58] <Eugenia> "…" She frowned. "Damnit. I forgot you needed a guardian."
[00:59] <Yanmei> "She's a really strict one, too~" She patted her on the shoulder in gleeful consolation. "Too bad."
[01:00] <Eugenia> "She can't be -that- strict if she lets you and Isaiah live together."
[01:03] <Yanmei> "Well, it helps that she also has a soft-spot for cute, helpless people who need mothering."
[01:03] <Eugenia> "Naturally. She's -your- guardian."
[01:06] <Yanmei> "Hey!" Yanmei huffed at that. "That's a funny thing to say to someone who's protecting the city you're living in!"
[01:08] <Eugenia> "Hmmhmm. Of course. My apologies. In fact, let me help you protect the city." She started heading off. "I could take a certain someone off your hands and free you up for more training~"
[01:09] <Yanmei> "That's -not- why you're staying with us," she complained, following after.
[01:10] <Eugenia> "Of course it isn't~"

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