Shinji S Daze

[07:28] * Aline was standing in front of the door to the ward where Shinji was being kept. She had been filled in after the fact about what happened as a result of the battle. She definitely looked pensive, as she considered the open-endedness of the situation, and the fact that it was their biggest loss yet. Still, Shinji had been rather severely damaged by all of this…
[07:36] <Minaplo> ["Here to see Shinji?"-
[07:38] <Minaplo> [It was the soft, sage-like voice of Doctor Castillo-Delgado, walking from a hallway to her left. He had a gentle, sad look on his face.]
[07:40] * Aline turned to face him, and slowly nodded, her own pensiveness easily matching the sad look. "Yeah."
[07:46] <Minaplo> ["You've been told about… Him?"]
[07:47] <Aline> "A little? Something about some kind of unusual AT field effect that was affecting him psychologically, I think. But I didn't really get any details." Aline's pensive look turned into a frown.
[07:52] <Minaplo> ["Right now, it's hard for me to isolate any particular causes or the like, as he's very disturbed right now. The violent end of the battle has shaken him greatly, nevermind other effects… Berserking, the overall defeat…"]
[07:56] <Aline> "I know… It was pretty bad, and while I'm thankfully okay, I can only imagine how he feels, without seeing him."
[08:03] <Minaplo> ["I understand. Just- brace yourself, alright? He might be- volatile."]
[08:07] * Aline lowered her head. "I know the risks, or so I like to think."
[08:12] <Minaplo> ["I hope you do as well. I won't keep you anymore- best you do it now, I think."]
[08:15] <Aline> "Right." Aline pushed open the doors to the ward, and turned to the Doctor to suggest he lead her on.
[08:26] <Minaplo> [And he did, leading her through the door, down a long sterile white hallway…-
[08:27] <Minaplo> [To a reinforced door with a small window. Through it- a television, a bed, a stack of books. The television was playing some documentary, but…-
[08:27] <Minaplo> [It was obvious that the sole occupant wasn't watching it. Shinji was lying sideways on the bed, his knees up againt his chest, facing the wall- away from Aline.]
[08:31] * Aline peered in, and then nodded. "…I'm going in."
[08:35] <Minaplo> [Castillo nodded once in response, then unlocked the door.]
[08:37] * Aline carefully opened it, and sort of sliiiiiiid on in through the smallest of gaps, slightly compressing herself to do so. She then closed it behind her, and… spoke. "Shinji…?"
[08:48] <Minaplo> ["…"-
[08:48] <Minaplo> [Shinji didn't respond, but squeezed himself a little tighter, pulling into himself a little more.]
[08:53] * Aline frowned a bit more. "I'm sorry, I didn't do enough while I was still able…"
[09:46] <Minaplo> [His breathing quicked, and his eyes widened as though dreading something, something terrible- something he didn't want to acknowledge.-
[09:46] <Minaplo> <Quickened*>
[09:47] <Minaplo> [He turned his head to look at her- and a fleeting, horrified look crossed his face. Whatever dread he felt, it had been confirmed.-
[09:47] <Minaplo> [Shinji quickly turned away, burying his head against the sheets once more.]
[09:53] * Aline looked… rather confused. Or at least, that's the face she wore and the emotion she felt. What she /actually looked like/ to Shinji was something she wouldn't know yet. "…Sorry… I'm scaring you, aren't I. Should I leave…?"
[09:55] <Minaplo> ["You… Y-You're Aline, right? That's what you're gonna say…"]
[10:01] * Aline nodded, even though she knew he wasn't looking. "That…" She said it very quietly, just barely audible. "…was what I was going to say."
[10:02] <Minaplo> ["I don't… Get it. Did I come back… Wrong? Everyone's different, changed- I thought the Angel won, everything is wrong- I don't know what's going on…!"]
[10:07] * Aline was still quiet, as if cowed by his reaction. "Uhh… I think there's some kind of AT Field reaction involved. Something about an anti-AT field? It's… weirder things have happened?"
[10:21] <Minaplo> "W… Weirder? Everything has… I don't want to see things like this. I don't want to do this anymore…"]
[10:30] * Aline sighed deeply. "I really don't know what to say. I /could/ say 'it'll be over soon enough' but that's either a lie or not helpful. I /could/ say I'm here for you, but now you're scared of me because of…" She helplessly waved her hands. "…whatever this is. There's all sorts of things I could be saying, but I guess I'll just say this. Everything sucks."
[10:42] <Minaplo> ["What are we going to do…?"]
[10:47] * Aline shook her head now, and vigorously. "I don't know, I don't /know/. On the large scale, we've never lost on this level of failure. On the personal scale, you've… never been this hurt. So I'll be honest. I can't just push everyone around and expect it to work."
[17:22] <Minaplo> ["…"-
[17:23] <Minaplo> ["I'm-I'm scared."]
[17:31] * Aline sort of leaned her head on one hand, letting out a pained sigh. "I'm trying to keep it together, but I'm scared too… I mean, I know the end is near, one way or another. I spent years wondering not just who I was but /what/ I was, and the truth doesn't make me feel better about it. We're right down to the wire and have enemies at every corner…" Another sigh, mostly an afterthought
[17:31] * Aline to some extent. "So it's right to be scared, it's just… we still have more to do."
[17:40] <Minaplo> ["Aline…?"]
[17:43] <Aline> "…Yeah, Shinji?"
[18:04] <Minaplo> ["I… I saw her."]
[18:05] * Aline blinked confusedly - even though nobody was looking at her. "…Sorry, saw who?"
[18:08] <Minaplo> ["I saw the Eva."-
[18:11] <Minaplo> ["Rei, s-she's chained in, bolted in, I-I saw her, s-she's still Rei, and she's always crying, crying…"-
[18:14] <Minaplo> [He covered his head with his arms, his body convulsing as he started to sob, and it was hard to tell what emerged stronger in those tears- sadness or terror.]
[18:17] * Aline felt her throat dry up slightly, and at first didn't speak, mouth slackly open. But eventually… "She didn't ask for this. My only hope is that when this is over, she can go back to a human life - you can't 'put EVA back in the box', but… I don't know, maybe you can extract the soul again…? I really don't know."
[18:22] <Minaplo> ["I-I can't… I can't p-pilot it. Not now…"]
[18:35] * Aline frowned again. "…Uh… I don't know how to convince you, but it's possible that everything depends on it. She's in pain, but if winning means we have a chance to free her - then…" An absentminded gulp. "Then you'd… we'd all have to. I can't be fair, because my Eva /had/ asked for 'this', as it were. I don't know what to tell you other than that we all still need you. I just…
[18:35] * Aline I just… don't know what to do. Or… or…" Aline couldn't think of what else to say.
[19:18] <Minaplo> ["…"-
[19:18] <Minaplo> [He didn't respond, not for a good long while. All Aline had as a response were his gasps and sobs.-
[19:25] <Minaplo> [Eventually his crying slowed, then stopped; and his trembling more properly became shivering. There were goosebumps all over his arms and legs- and the back of his neck.-
[19:26] <Minaplo> ["I want to run away. I just want to run home. I d-don't even know where, I just want to run away from all of this and get to somewhere where they haven't even heard of Angels or Evas or anything like that…"]
[19:37] * Aline frowned even more deeply than before, her mouth quivering. "We're… we're stuck. There's… nowhere left to go. I d-don't know what else to do."
[19:46] <Minaplo> ["…" He slowly, slowly rolled over, so he was facing her.-
[19:46] <Minaplo> [He didn't move much. His eyes slowly moved to look up at her. They looked a way a few times. But eventually the gaze returned to her…]
[19:54] * Aline stayed dead still, save for blinking once or twice. "…I'm sorry.
[19:54] <Aline> *I'm sorry, I'm sorry…" She was starting to cry.
[20:14] <Minaplo> [Something crossed Shinji's face then, some expression, an emotion; pity, or sympathy, or maybe shame. He looked down at his hands, trembled a little, then tentatively… Held one out, taking one of her own.]
[20:17] * Aline freely took it, and just clasped it tight while tears silently fell.
[20:22] <Minaplo> ["H-Hey…"-
[20:22] <Minaplo> ["I-I'm… I'm sorry. This is my fault. D-Don't cry. You… You look like a really dependable person now…"]
[20:25] * Aline couldn't just stop that on a dime, but she looked up. "I've been so worried about you and we lost and might not win the next time and it's so hard now…"
[20:30] <Minaplo> ["… I didn't… I didn't know you felt…"-
[20:36] <Minaplo> [Now there was real guilt on his face, along with everything else. "I've only made things worse, haven't I? Aline…"]
[20:41] * Aline clenched the hand tightly still, and began to slowly recover a bit from the crying spell. "N-not really? It's already been bad, you're just… you, you know? I worry a lot, you've just been hurt more now." She kind of… shook her head a bit, very slowly. "It'll either get better, or we'll fail. And… I-I don't want to fail. I just… I just think there's a chance this'll work
[20:41] * Aline out."
[20:45] <Minaplo> ["Do we have… H-hope, Aline? Or d-do we just not have any other choice?"]
[20:51] <Aline> "I…" Aline started, sniffling briefly. "I don't know how much of one we have. But it's still there. The Angels, Mary, Destiny itself… there's a lot of foes but we… but we have a little bit of a chance. We might be stuck, b-b-but we can try to believe we have a future."
[20:54] <Minaplo> ["…"-
[20:54] <Minaplo> ["Alright." He said quietly, his voice soft. But it wasn't despairing. There wasn't much hope, but… As Aline had said, there was a little bit.-
[20:58] <Minaplo> ["If you say that, then I'll believe you. I'll believe anything so long as you say it."-
[20:58] <Minaplo> ["… Don't go. Please? Stay here…"]
[21:02] * Aline took a deep breath. "…Thank you. I'll stay as long as I can."
[21:20] <Minaplo> [It was a slow reaction from Shinji. With his free hand he reached out and took Aline by the shouler- and then gently, he lowered her down onto the bed- then he held her close, resting his head against her shoulder. "…"]
[21:37] * Aline nestled in, breathing a bit heavier now, and just… trying her best to let it all out. Her breaths were steady and rhythmic, and she said nothing else either.
[21:44] <Minaplo> [And so they stayed. Outside, the sun streaked across the sky, the bright blue replaced by a dusky, mellow orange that faded into a regal, star-strewn blue…]

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