Yanmei 1

[00:17] <AdEvaGM> [NEON GENESIS EVANGELION, Episode Yanmei 1. Date: 8th of June, 2025.]
[00:21] <Yanmei> The red light changed to green, and a dark blue convertible started off again. The hands of the driver shook at the wheel, and it took concentrated effort to stop that. Deep breath. Relaxed fingers. Her eyes were unreadable, hidden behind sunglasses, and her violet hair tore freely around her face in the wind. -
[00:24] <Yanmei> This was stupid. What she really needed was to pull over and smash something and scream. She didn't want to go home before then. If only… only… she tried to finish that thought and couldn't, started to grind her teeth against her lower lip and made herself stop. What was she going to do?
[00:30] <AdEvaGM> [She was going to have to decide soon. She was starting to approach home, now…]
[00:34] <Yanmei> It rested on a quiet suburban block, with other similar houses. Small, modern, rebuilt over the remains of those that existed before the war against the Angels. Yanmei saw her street, and her heart leapt into her throat. She saw her mother, suddenly, in a hospital bed, holding a curious blonde one-year-old Lizzie and… it was all she could take to pull into her driveway. She sat there, engine on, as if she might drive off again. -
[00:40] <Yanmei> The house before her: white, with brown shutters. Three bedrooms. A small backyard where she did warmups for sprinting and other practice routines, because there was no room for a gym inside of the house. There was a punching bag out there. -That- was what she needed. -
[00:43] <Yanmei> She stripped off the suit jacket she was wearing and slowly, delicately turned the engine off. She left her laptop in the car and slid out of the front seat, heading for the backyard in a pressed work blouse and slacks.
[00:46] <AdEvaGM> [The backyard was as it always was, although it was clear Lizzie had been mucking about; her bicycle was lying against a wall, and the running shoes she used when she tried to run with her mother were lying haphazardly around. The red punching bag swung about slightly in the wind.]
[00:49] * Yanmei carefully moved the girl's shoes to the back porch, tsking under her breath, and then got to work. Warm up stretch. Light practice punch. And then… she lit into it, teeth clenched in a silent snarl, waiting for either satisfaction or exhaustion to overtake her.-
[00:49] <Yanmei> "Why?" she panted. "Why… why…?"
[00:50] <AdEvaGM> ["Yanmei?"-
[00:50] <AdEvaGM> [A voice from behind, from the backdoor. Isaiah's voice.]
[00:51] <Yanmei> She missed her next punch completely, and the punching bag waggled in the air, taunting her. She tried to swallow, but couldn't past the lump in her throat. "…"
[00:52] <AdEvaGM> ["S-Sweetheart, what's wrong?" Footsteps. He was walking towards her.]
[00:53] <Yanmei> "Don't…" Yanmei managed. She shook her head, back still turned to him.
[00:55] <AdEvaGM> [The footsteps slowed, but didn't stop. "Please…"]
[00:56] <Yanmei> There was a long pause on her part. "The… the appointment didn't go well?"
[00:57] <AdEvaGM> […-
[00:58] <AdEvaGM> [Footsteps. And a hand on her shoulder.]
[00:59] * Yanmei slowly reached up to pull off her sunglasses. It was impossible to hide anything from him anyway. Her eyes were red and damp.
[01:04] <AdEvaGM> [Hands around her waist, now. He rested his head against her's. "Come on. Why don't we go inside?"]
[01:07] * Yanmei didn't answer at first. She put a hand over one of his, and gazed ahead, squinting at nothing. "I'm a failure, Isaiah."
[01:08] <AdEvaGM> ["No! No, don't say that… Don't ever say that."]
[01:12] <Yanmei> "I don't know why you're with me. You made your dreams, but I've never… never been able to accomplish…" She spotted the pair of red running shoes by chance, and she couldn't talk any more. Not for a few more minutes.
[01:20] <AdEvaGM> [Isaiah took advantage of the silence, pulling Yanmei closer. His warm and gentle hands slipped in under her blouse, stroking her stomach, trying to calm her. "Come on." He whispered into her ear. "Come on, love. Let's go inside. I cooked you some curry pork and chicken with fried noodles, some fresh green vegetables… I got out your favourite red wine. Come on. We can talk about this."]
[01:21] <Yanmei> "I don't want Lizzie to hear…" she mumbled.
[01:22] <AdEvaGM> ["It's alright. She's over at a friend's house."]
[01:25] * Yanmei exhaled. She eyed the swaying punching bag one last time. "Friend's house. Good. That's good…" She tried to straighten up again, clasping his hand, and began to move for the door.
[01:26] <AdEvaGM> [He guided her gently, opening the door and letting her go in first.-
[01:28] <AdEvaGM> [The air was full of the rich smell of Isaiah's cooking; fat pork and chicken, spices of all sorts, Yanmei's favourite… The refreshing smell of hot noodles.-
[01:29] <AdEvaGM> [There was a television playing, some news report on a young, perky, twin-tailed Rosalie Paget, the new pilot EVA-22 and the Paris Regiment's squad leader. Isaiah ignored it as he guided her forward.]
[01:33] * Yanmei stared at the television screen a moment, her hand forming a tight fist again, her eyes growing glassy again. She found a chair to sit at, however, and reached for the wine, first and foremost. "Nothing ever works out. All I'm good for is fighting and killing and schmoozing with sleazy assholes."
[01:43] <AdEvaGM> ["Hey, that's not true." Said Isaiah, wrapping his arms around her. The television was quickly turned off, as well.-
[01:44] <AdEvaGM> [Isaiah knew that it'd been hard for Yanmei. Precious years away from practice meant her running simply wasn't good enough for a proper career. When she'd left NERV, they'd given her access to her 2-million dollar trust fund, and a military degree in small unit tactics and leadership.-
[01:45] <AdEvaGM> [A degree that simply wasn't worth the paper it was printed on, not in a world where 90% of the world's armed forces had been disarmed.-
[01:46] <AdEvaGM> ["You're just… Having a rough time." He said gently. "It'll get better. I promise."]
[01:49] * Yanmei shook her head and rested in her hands, propping her elbows up on the table. "No. No it won't. You don't understand. Stop… s-stop being so nice to me. I can't even… even…"
[01:51] <AdEvaGM> [Isaiah didn't say anything. What could he say? He just tightened his grip and rested his head on her neck.]
[01:53] <Yanmei> "I t-told my mom I'd h-have a… a b-baby with violet hair. And Atticus-Kaworu… Atti… I promised them! And you! I'm sorry, Isaiah. I'm s-so sorr…"
[01:54] <AdEvaGM> [He froze, going completely still.-
[01:58] <AdEvaGM> [Isaiah stood like that for awhile, silent, not even breathing.-
[01:58] <AdEvaGM> [But when he did spoke, his voice, tinged though it was with sadness, was gentle. Understanding. "It's alright. It's alright…"]
[02:02] * Yanmei shook her head again, but she couldn't answer right away. She'd already lost it - her sobs were hard ones that made it difficult to even breathe. "It'ss n-n-n-not! 's…"
[02:03] <AdEvaGM> [He was next to Yanmei now, kneeling down at her side, and… He was crying, too. But he was holding her hands…]
[02:09] <Yanmei> It was a good while longer, but the deep sobbing started to give way to softer hiccuping ones. She tried to look him in the eye.
[02:09] <AdEvaGM> [Isaiah returned the look. Blue eyes full of tears, but also affection, love. In those eyes, she could do no wrong, could she…?-
[02:09] <AdEvaGM> ["I'm here."
[02:09] <AdEvaGM> ]
[02:14] * Yanmei gazed back, her own eyes reflecting the wear and tear that came with failed struggle after failed struggle. "I'm sorry," she whispered again, and tried to smooth out her breaths in vain.
[02:15] <AdEvaGM> ["You don't have to apologise." Said Isaiah. "I'm here to help you." He leaned up now, pulling her into a kiss.]
[02:19] <Yanmei> That helped. When they parted, she'd calmed down even more. Grasped the fact that he -wasn't- pulling away or breaking into his own sobs. "I need…" she was rasping a little now. "Need to figure out what I should do."
[02:22] <AdEvaGM> ["Listen." He said urgently. "It's going to be ok. Why don't… Why don't we just eat for now- I can get the plates and we can sit on the couch together, watch a movie and eat, and… I'll run us a hot bath, and we can talk about it. Ok?"]
[02:25] * Yanmei just nodded. She wiped her eyes with the sleeve of her blouse. She wasn't actually hungry. But… A movie and wine and a bath sounded nice. "All right. We'll talk…"
[02:29] <AdEvaGM> [And thus, half an hour later they'd be sitting on the sofa together, cuddled up next to each other, holding a pair of bowls filled with Isaiah's delicious dinner. The glasses of wine sat on the table in front of them. The movie wasn't important- some cheesy horror movie that provoked laughter instead of fear.]
[02:31] * Yanmei picked at her food and felt the pangs of guilt for it. Isaiah had probably worked hard on it, but she just couldn't seem to get her stomach to loosen up. The movie made her feel better, though. A mindless distraction that soon became background noise. -
[02:33] <Yanmei> "I don't get it," she murmured tiredly. "Maybe I should go away for a while. Take a vacation. But that's not fair on you?"
[02:35] <AdEvaGM> ["Well." Isaiah smiled. "I have some good news."]
[02:36] <Yanmei> "What's that?"
[02:36] <AdEvaGM> ["Got a letter today. From the office of the Australian Premier."]
[02:37] <Yanmei> Yanmei's eyebrows rose. "What, like an official one?"
[02:41] <AdEvaGM> ["Yeah." He said with a smile. "Apparently Premier Savage was looking over his reports on the Australian Evangelion Regiment and noted that it's missing a tutor. Someone capable of teaching the regiment Eva-scale small unit tactics…"]
[02:43] <Yanmei> The EVAs again… Yanmei rubbed her forehead. "Teaching the new recruits?"
[02:44] <AdEvaGM> ["That's right. All expenses paid, a year-long contract, and you're allowed to take the family too. You'd only have to work three days a week, too."]
[02:45] * SyntaxTerror has joined #nervfrance
[02:46] <Yanmei> "It's depressing, though. Like I'm turning into Misato or something." She started to reach for another glass of wine and then stopped, demurely pulling her hand back. "Ahem. Would you want to come? What about Lizzie? Her English had slipped a lot."
[02:47] <AdEvaGM> ["Paradise is wherever you are~" Purred Isaiah, slipping into his playful sultry voice.-
[02:48] <AdEvaGM> ["Lizzie… I'm not sure. Australia's where she's from, so maybe it'd be worth her going with us."]
[02:50] <Yanmei> "Educational reasons at least?" She gave him a tired nuzzle. "A year away. The house will still be here. The old job too, probably."
[02:52] <AdEvaGM> ["Mmm~" He rested his head against her's. "And I'll be able to pick up something pretty easily in Australia. I'm sure there's plenty of sick people there, too."]
[02:54] <Yanmei> "A change would be nice. Let's talk it over with the kid and then send him a confirmation."
[03:02] <AdEvaGM> ["Right." … "I love you. That… That's never going to change, alright?" He said gently. "No matter what, we- we can adopt, or-or there's bound to be a treatment eventually, a-and we have Lizzie…"]
[03:06] <Yanmei> "We do. Lizzie's the best," she murmured and lapsed into a quiet lull. She could feel sorry for herself but that wasn't the way to do things, and she knew it. Time to pick up the pieces and fight back harder. "I won't give up."
[03:07] <AdEvaGM> ["I know you won't." He said gently, leaning over to kiss her- gently, then a little deeper.]
[03:10] * Raphael has joined #nervfrance
[03:13] <Yanmei> And Yanmei kissed back. She could feel how sad he was, beyond her own sadness, but there was no quick fix. Time. That's what they needed. The both of them.
[03:20] <AdEvaGM> [He hastily put the bowl of curry aside. "Y-y'know, I think… Lizzie's staying with her friend for the night." He mumbled between kisses.]
[03:22] <Yanmei> "That's pretty fortunate?" Her bowl joined his on the coffee table, and she gave him some kisses of her own. She probably looked like a wreck by now, but if he didn't care, neither would she.
[03:30] * Zack is now known as ZackSLeep
[03:30] * ZackSLeep is now known as ZackSleep
[03:36] <AdEvaGM> ["Yeah…"-
[03:36] <AdEvaGM> [… And Time passed. Time that was needed, for both of them.]

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