Constructive criticism post! Let me know how I'm doing with Asuka and whether I could improve. Thanks muchly!
Comments are screened.
The curse of the Eva. What a joke. Maybe if she'd known about it, she'd have never climbed into the stupid thing (that's a lie). It's been fourteen years. Fourteen long years and haflway through, she realized that she wasn't just a late bloomer. She wasn't going to get any taller. She wasn't going to change. She was stuck. A gangly, half-grown young woman with the eclectic cocktail of puberty stuck in her brain. She was never going to be an "adult". No one was ever going to look at her and see anything other than a snot-nosed brat. It doesn't matter that she's one of the defenders of humanity, it doesn't matter that she's spent her life getting smarter, getting better. She looks like a fourteen-year old and people still ask her if she's lost or if she should be in school. They still ask for her ID every time she drives (she has to scoot the seat forward so she can reach the pedals). It's a miracle they let her live alone.
At least she doesn't have to share an apartment with Misato anymore. She spent four miserable years living with her and putting up with her fake cheerfulness and her sloppy messes and her blatant favoritism. When she turned eighteen (not that she'd changed) she left. She'd had one last screaming match for good measure and then dragged her boxes and boxes of stuff out with her. Not that she even wanted half of it, but she wasn't going to leave it behind.
The next morning she'd stared at Misato across the table in the briefing room, a mug of coffee in front of her as if to say, "Look, I'm one of you now." They didn't talk much outside of work now. "Work". Saving the world was her day job. What a goddamn mess.
Not that she had (or kept) many friends. Just Hikari, but Asuka could see the discomfort in her eyes from time to time when they went out. Especially now that Hikari is almost old enough to look like Asuka might be her daughter or a younger cousin or something. By now Asuka avoids most social functions. Of course, NERV has one of their stupid semi-corporate get-togethers. She despises Japanese work-culture, but if she doesn't show up, she's going to get a lot of grief because why wouldn't the star pilot not want to be there?
She forces a smile on her face through the first hour or two of the night, acting the part of the social butterfly, trying to ignore the double-takes that the newbies give her. By hour three, she takes up a permanent position at the bar (it's all on the UN's tab, why not enjoy), official ID slapped down on the smooth wood before the bartender can say anything smart about a Shirley Temple.
By hour four, she's buzzed and on her way towards being completely smashed as she asks for another drink. She doesn't care what, she just wants the alcohol.
Fuck all of you, she's over twenty-one.
Contact: PM / dragoon1940
Are you over 18?: Yes.
Character Name: Asuka Langley Soryu
Canon: Neon Genesis Evangelion (TV series)
Canon Point: post-End of Evangelion
Now wears an eyepatch.
Setting: The setting is Earth in the year 2015. Roughly fifteen years before the events of the series, half of humanity was wiped out by a cataclysmic event known as Second Impact. Supposedly the result of a meteorite striking the Earth at high speeds, Second Impact was actually caused by human experimentation in the Antarctic. The resulting famine and ecological devastation caused resource wars and other massive disasters, which killed off almost as many people as the initial blast. In addition, the Earth's rotation has been thrown out of tilt, leading ot climate change and eternal summer in Japan.
Only recently has humanity started to clamber out of the wreckage. An internationally-funded organization, known as NERV, operates out of a fortress city in Japan - Tokyo-3, and are dedicated to fighting a new threat: strange creatures known as "Angels". These creatures are apparently hostile toward humanity and the only weapons that can defeat them are bio-mechanical robots known as "Evangelion units". These units are piloted by children (whee, child soldiers). Unbeknownst to these pilots (and almost everyone else), these Eva units are powered by the souls of their dead mothers. Pulling the strings behind the scenes is a secretive organization known as SEELE, who wish to use the Evas to initiate Third Impact and turn humanity into a single entity or hive mind.
Everything's great, really.
History: Wiki link
Asuka comes off as an overbearing, proud, willful, arrogant and brash young woman. She can certainly play the part of the social butterfly and attract attention when she wants it; she can even be charming. However, she has a difficult time truly connecting to others and her only real friend in Tokyo-3 seemed to be Hikari. She tends to be rather playful and happy-go-lucky, at least when she’s in a good mood. Added to that, however, is her need and want to be the center of attention. She’ll show off, she’ll boast. She truly is skilled, though. It’s not as if she doesn’t have skills to be proud of. She simply likes other people to know that, yes, she is that good. This stems from the period of her life where her mother believed that a doll was the "real" Asuka and refused to acknowledge Asuka as her real daughter. Asuka simply doesn’t want to be forgotten or to be alone. She wants to be noticed, for people to feed her self-esteem issues and acknowledge her.
All of this contributes to a subconscious (and in part, conscious) low self-image that Asuka carries around with her. If she isn't the best and people aren't acknowledging her as the best, she feels worthless. In fact, she derives most of her own self-worth from the praise and attention of others, despite her contemptuous treatment of those she considers beneath her. Asuka, in fact, detests herself – after all, if her own mother didn't want her, what good can she be? But she tries to counter-act this with the aforementioned praise and attention. She wants people to validate the idea that she's worth something and when other people don't, it chips away at her already precarious psyche and sense of worth.
Asuka will tease people relentlessly, whether good-natured or mean-spirited (often mean-spirited), insulting or needling at others in order to provoke a reaction. She has contempt for people she believes are weak or can’t stand up for themselves, as well as for authority figures she doesn’t truly like. She feels that she is the best in the world at what she does and that no one will ever be able to live up to her. When she is proven wrong, her most likely reaction is get angry, hurl insults, and then go off to sulk and to reassure herself (and possibly others) that it was a fluke. Next time they won’t get so lucky. Similarly she refuses to acknowledge her own mistakes and will often shift the blame to others in an attempt to reinforce her own psyche and poor self-image. She also tends to get frustrated when other people can’t keep up with her.
She isn't completely without empathy; in fact, when she's in a relatively decent spot emotionally and she doesn't feel threatened, she has a certain amount of empathy for others around her and will go out of her way to help people. When planning a celebratory dinner, for example, she deliberately switched her choice from steak to a cheaper ramen joint in order to include Rei and to make sure that Misato's wallet wouldn't be too heavily impacted. She was also quick to offer advice to Hikari when her friend was trying to figure out how to properly express her affection to Touji (another student and later an Eva pilot). She also came to visit Shinji in the hospital, despite being frustrated and angry with his actions. Most of the time, she'll try to frame this empathy as something magnanimous that she's going out of her way to do out of the kindness of her heart - and she is. She just wants some attention for it.
In combat and under pressure, Asuka reacts quickly and often decisively. She doesn’t always react in the most well-thought out ways, but she does react and move quickly. She’s quick on the uptake and aggressive. However, this often leads to her disregarding orders she believes are stupid or don’t make sense and will resort to a head-on, aggressive approach (which she believes has served her well in the past).
When Asuka feels insulted or if she gets angry at someone she'll go off on them, either with words or with some sort of physical attack (usually a slap or a hurled object). She’s very touchy and has a temper, which is partly to hide her own insecurities about herself and her work. In fact, most of her arrogant, proud personality is just that – a façade to hide her own vulnerabilities and the fact that deep down inside, she really is just a scared little girl who wants help. She’s gotten so good at repressing that part of her and repressing the traumatic memories that led to this that even she believes it to a certain extent. Continued pressure or failure on her own part will strip this away and if her self-built image and support system collapses, she'll collapse with it. If she no longer has concrete proof and reinforcement telling her that she's worth something (and if she's not the best, she isn't worth anything), she'll withdraw within herself and turn semi-suicidal.
Asuka also has a special hatred and contempt for people who are “over-logical”, who don’t show emotion, and in general don’t act human or don’t react to her teasing. In her mind, they act like “dolls” and this again leads back to the rather traumatizing experience with her mother when she was a child. Rei Ayanami, the First Child, was one of these and Asuka grew to detest her, both for her inability to respond like a “normal” person and the fact that Rei garnered attention from both Shinji Ikari and Gendo Ikari, taking away attention from her, the Second Child. They had a precarious truce of sorts for a while and Asuka did try to include her, but it all eventually fell apart.
Post-Impact, Asuka has a whole new set of trauma that piles on to of her existing issues. Although her obsession with her mother and her mother's death has been (somewhat) tempered by the knowledge that her mother did not truly reject her, she still deals with a cripplingly low self-image of herself. She failed again – when it was most important – and in addition, was forced to experience a horrible death at the hands of the Evangelion mass production series. She has shifted part of the blame for her death to Shinji Ikari and Misato Katsuragi, neither of whom apparently showed up to help her. In addition, the main external focus and item that she derived most of her self-worth from - Unit 02 - is gone, destroyed in the battle that killed her. She's adrift and trying to find a purpose for herself and a reason to keep on living (aside from her own innate fear of death). It's going to take her a while to crawl out of the emotional hole she's dug down into.
As such, she's likely to be surly, blunt, short and overall generally unpleasant to most people she encounters. She's going to privately question her own reason for existing. In short, she'll be an emotional wreck.
Canon Abilities/Skills: Asuka is a child (or teenage, in this case) prodigy and is an extremely quick learner. Give her time and motivation and she can pick up and retain information and physical training very easily. In addition, she's extremely intelligent; as of canon, she's already obtained an undergraduate degree in a unspecified subject. She's also physically fit and is in excellent physical shape for a girl her age. She's also a skilled Eva pilot and, at least when her psyche is relatively healthy, able to achieve a very high synchronization ratio with her Eva unit. This may translate to a certain ability to be able to mentally adapt and link with equipment that requires a mental or psychic link. She does not possess any psychic powers; she is simply able to slip into a connective state. She also retains the muscle memory of using the various weapons her Eva wielded in combat thanks to said synchronization. Although not the best fighter, this means she'll have a decent starting point. She's also fairly naturally athletic and possesses a strong drive to achieve. She is also able to lead effectively or at least plan for combat or tactical situations and think quickly under pressure or on the fly; communicating it in an effective way is another thing entirely. Otherwise, she's a fairly normal teenage girl.
ON STATION 72
Symbiote Specialization: Rho
When activated, Asuka is able to affect the emotions of other living beings and creatures by inducing certain emotional states (and as a side bonus, can pick up on the emotional states of others with enough concentration). This can be positive or negative and may, at times, end up being associated with a particular person or object.
At this level, Asuka can induce basic emotional states on people: happy, sad, angry, etc. She's also a bit limited in how focused she can make it. It's typically just sort of a general mood shift and unless the other person is aware of her abilities or has experience with telepathic/mind manipulating powers, they will likely just rationalize it on their own or believe that they've been afflicted with mood swings. Range is limited to her touch. She has to concentrate to effectively pick up on the other person's current emotional state (if it's not obvious). She cannot direct the emotion AT anyone or anything, but she could certainly make suggestions the old-fashioned way. May only affect one person at a time. Usable once every twenty minutes.
At this level, her ability to direct the emotions (and the spread of them) increases. She could make someone at another person or make them sad about the current topic of conversation or more positively inclined toward her or her friends. She also requires less concentration to pick up on someone's emotional state, although it's still a part of the power that she needs to switch "on". As before, unless they're experienced with or have a reason to think that they're being actively manipulated, the target will likely rationalize it. Range is now five meters and does not require touch, although touch does make it easier. She may affect up to three targets at once. Usable once every ten minutes.
At this level, Asuka's control starts to border on instinctual. She can near effortlessly detect the emotional state of people nearby when she wishes to and then turn that emotional state on its head. They will believe that their anger or happiness or sorrow comes from something inside of themselves. They will "realize" something, although dramatic shifts in mood may still be suspicious from the perspective of an outside observer. Range is increased to ten meters. She may focus on up to five people at once. Alternatively, she can use a more basic level of the power (i.e. simply changing the very basic mood from something like excitement to disappointment or joy to anger, etc.) without anyone or anything being the particular target on small crowds (up to two dozen people). Usable once every five minutes.
At all levels, she experiences a certain degree of emotional dissociation after extended use. This can manifest either as her experiencing the emotion she intended to inflict or as an emotional numbness that will intensify with extended or extremely stressful use. During this numb period, she will be apathetic and unable to experience emotions beyond a very slight, basic level; this may have an impact on her sense of self-preservation. In addition, should she exceed the noted number of "uses" per the given time period, she will develop a horrific migraine, but will still be relatively successful, although the effect degrades with each subsequent use; if she tries to exceed her limit too often or too much or otherwise push herself too far, not only will the attempt fail, she will also knock herself unconscious.
An unintended consequence is also that the target's brain chemistry needs time to reset. Even after she finishes influencing people, it will take time for them to recover and this can potentially backfire if the target she made angry decides that she is a good target for her anger.
Inventory: Plug-suit, eye-pach, bandages.
Samples: One Two
Asuka knows that she can win. She knows that she's the best, that these pale imitations of her Unit 02 are nothing more than chaff. Especially not now, not when she knows. Not when her mother is here with her, not when she's the most powerful, the most exuberant she's ever been. She can win. It's not even a contest. She mows through them, one after the other, after the other, after the other. There's a timer and a part of her is waiting, hoping that Unit 01 will actually show up. She only has so much battery power left and the clock is ticking town with each passing second. But she's close, she's so close, she can taste it and then he turns to swat a spear out of the sky-
It does something unexpected. It shifts, it mutates, and then two prongs of something sharp and cold drive themselves straight through her defenses (her AT field) and lance into her unit (her). There's pain. Nothing but sharp, unending agony from her left eye and she screams, clutching at an injury that she knows isn't really there, but it hurts and she's out of time. She's out of power and she feels so much anger, so much pain.
She knows she can win.
She's going to kill them. She's going to kill all of them and make them pay and she can feel Unit 02 responding, feel it starting to move, powered by the sheer force of will-
They tear her apart.
Later, much later, she's on a beach, blood-red waves washing against the sand. She's seen too much, knows too much, seen herself, seen what she is, seen what a world without any borders, without any separation is, and she hates herself for it. She hates what she is, who she is, what she's been. Shinji is kneeling over her, his hands around her throat, and he squeezes. She can feel the life being choked out of her. She can't breathe and Asuka - Asuka, for once in her life, feels pity. Pity and revulsion, because she knows now why he does what he does. She's glimpsed inside the heart of humanity and as much as she despises it, as much as she despises the idea of being forced into contact with all of them, as much as she despises herself, there's understanding now.
Horrible, twisted understanding. She brushes a hand against his cheek in a gesture that's more sympathetic than anything she ever offered him when it might have mattered and he falls away, sobbing and she can suck air back into her lungs again. She can feel her gorge rise, a twisting in her stomach and she murmurs something to the air, to the abandoned wreckage of humanity.
"I feel sick."
There's something (someone) tugging at her attention. A silent ping. There's something wrong Something that shouldn't be here. She looks up, willing herself to move (she feels shaky, newborn, as if her limbs are rubber). There's... something coming down the beach. Several somethings. Dark figures and they're moving with hostile intent. She's been a pilot long enough to know that. Her heart starts to race, picking up from a sluggish pace to a quick pitter-patter as adrenaline starts to surge again. This feels wrong in so many different ways and she eases back a step, reaching down to try and get Shinji's attention.
They need to go. She needs to go. She can't stay here, something tells her. Or she's going to die all over again. She takes another step back. Where the Hell is she supposed to go? Everyone is gone. Everything is a wreck. She has no weapons, no Eva, nothing. There's a faint 'pop' of displaced air, as someone or something appears behind her and she turns, good eye wide and staring. There's a man standing there, dark-skinned and tall, and incredibly calm. All he does is extend his hand to her.
Maybe she's hallucinating again. Maybe this is all a dream.
There's something (someone) tugging at her attention. Another silent inquiry. The man in front of her stares silently.
Do you want to live?
"Yes," she says, without a second thought.
The world falls away.
She can't control any of it. Every last piece of her life is spiraling out of control and even when she tries to force it all back into a familiar, comfortable pattern, it all just seems to backfire. She's in the bathroom now, staring at the tub, body feeling tense and coiled, a feeling of sullen anger and despair growing in her gut. This isn't fair. Why does she have to share this stupid, cramped apartment with these people she hates? Despite the moisture and steam in the air and her recent bath, she feels unclean. Like there are bugs crawling over her skin.
"Why do I have to share a bathub with them?"
She's speaking aloud, voice muted as she tries to force all of it out. To find a target.
"We even have to share a washing machine! And a toilet!"
It all hurts. The idea of having to share her space is becoming an overwhelming facet in her mind. She hates being near them. She hates having to see them every day. She hates everything about this apartment, about Japan, about Misato and Shinji and-
"I hate Misato. I hate Shinji!"
Her voice starts to rise and a part of her knows that Misato can hear her through the thin door and walls of the apartment, but she also doesn't care anymore. Somehting inside of her is finally cracking and breaking under the straing.
"I especially hate Rei! And papa! And mama!"
It all hurts, it's all tumbling out. And she finally vocalizes something she's known for the past ten years of life.
"But most of all - most of all, I hate myself! Why do I have to go through this? Why me? Why?"
The bucket goes flying and it clatters against the wall as her voice trails off into a wail and she sinks back against the wall of the bathroom, face buried against her knees as she tries for force back angry, heated tears, shoulders shuddering with each intake of breath. It is all her fault, isn't it?
It isn't fair.
Lately, it was one specific person who was keeping her sane. Utena. As damaged as they both were ("I'm so fucked up"), they were both veterans of their weird, strange time in Exsilium and ending up in the same place after all of it finally went poof was their luck of the draw. Asuka kept in touch, considering that Tenjou was a friend and one of the few people she felt like she could actually confide in. To almost everyone else around her, Asuka kept on trying to be that arrogant, hot-headed girl that she'd started out as years and years ago. It was easier than trying to change (or felt like it, anyway).
So she spent a lot of her spare time bumming around with Utena, at least when she had the chance. It almost felt normal. They did relatively normal things, like get tea, talk about the weather, go running together. Just normal, every-day stuff that you'd expect a pair of young women to do when they hung out. It was almost like the last three-quarters of her life hadn't actually happened (except for all of the memories and the psychological trauma).
Except something had changed.
Asuka wasn't sure when things had started turning over in her head or when she'd started becoming one of those people. Maybe she wasn't one of them, maybe it was just Utena. She didn't know. All she knew was that Tenjou was becoming the highlight of her week. She wanted to be around her, she wanted to be close to her, she wanted to spend time wit hher. None of that would've been too weird, but every time she saw Tenjou, she swore that her heart skipped a beat or her face flushed and sometimes (sometimes) she found herself lying in bed at night and staring at the ceiling and wondering if Tenjou was thinking about her.
Asuka acted like nothing had changed, though. She kept going over for visits. Like this one. She was supposed to help Tenjou put together a little dinner, maybe zone out for a bit, try to act like they were perfectly normal teenage girls with no super horrible things in their pasts.
Asuka rings the doorbell for the second time, toe tapping against the pavement. Maybe she can spin her nervousness into irritation and anger. That always seemed to work for her before.
|Shinji Ikari ➤ imusntrunaway|
|The Third Child|
|He's here and Asuka's still pissed as hell at him. She resents and hates his presence for a variety of reasons, as well as feeling horribly conflicted about what she ought to do him. Paradoxically, she still wants his attention and will probably go out of her way to try and isolate him to try and ensure that she's the only one he can pay attention to. Recently, they've made tentative attempts at bridging the gap between them. Nothing concrete yet.|
|Kaworu Nagisa ➤ salvagedsoul|
|The Fifth Child|
|Asuka isn't sure how she feels about him - he's tried to reach out to her and a talk they had has helped push her toward some self-examination in the wake of her experience during Third Impact. She feels like she should hate him, simply because he's an Angel. She's still trying to sort her feelings out on this one. He's also offered an outlet for her own internal doubts. A shoulder to lean on, even if she refuses to acknowledge that she needs it.|
|Rei Ayanami ➤ nothing|
|The First Child|
|Rei still freaks Asuka out, especially considering everything that happened during Third Impact and the freaky giant Rei corpse that came with the aftermath. Asuka tends to avoid her, although she can be civil. Sort of. Asuka isn't likely to spend much time in Rei's company alone, if she can help it. Familiarity is the only positive aspect of their relationship, as she tends to think of Rei as a freak.|
|Kanaya Maryam ➤ speakveryclearly|
|Asuka's semi-friend. She's one of the few people in Exsilium she can stand to be around for longer than five minutes, mostly because Kanya manages not to push any of Asuka's buttons or make Asuka feel like she has to defend her "position" as top dog in the relationship. Asuka views her as a bit "safe" and easy to talk to about random crap when she just wants to count time. In fact, she consides Kanaya something of a friend at this point, sort of like Hikari back home. Probably the person she spends the most time with.|
|Nepeta Leijon ➤ moirailcompass|
|Asuka's roommate in Exsilium and a weird pseudo-friend-slash-acquaintance. Asuka gets along with her, even if she thinks she's weird as Hell, even for being an alien. Still, Nepeta doesn't pry into her life or try to make life difficult for Asuka, so she lives and lets live. Most of the time.|
|Utena Tenjou ➤ revolutionized|
|Probably the closest person (Kanaya aside) to Asuka at Exsilium to date. They ran into each other once or twice and then Utena gave her a bit of tea and a metaphorical shoulder to lean on, even if Asuka wouldn't describe it like that or admit to needing the help. She's not quite sure how she feels about the other girl, but she's seen a bit of herself in her. She's also "safe" and inoffensive and is likely to be one of the first people Asuka begins to reach out to should she try to turn herself around. Asuka took care of her when Utena reverted to being a child due to malfunctioning time-travel equipment and Asuka now sees some similarities between herself and the other girl. Much like Kanaya, she's slotted as a friend, although it might all fall apart if things go horribly wrong.|
|Anthy Himemiya ➤ bloomcycle|
|Asuka finds herself drawn to and repulsed by Anthy at the same time. She finds the other girl oddly creepy - something about her reminds Asuka of Rei Ayanami - but Himemiya's also offered Asuka a bit of a lifeline, a way for her to justify her continued existence. She's grasped onto it, without regard for what might come with it. Not really a friend so much as someone Asuka's using to boost her self-esteem. At least for the moment.|
|Nanami Kiryuu ➤ tragicomedienne|
|Asuka has a new favorite punching bag to help her boost her own ego. Further encounters with Nanami are liable to make Asuka backslide into her rather abusive habits.|
|Drift ➤ weapabilities|
|Asuka thinks he's a toaster.|
|Waltz Makoto Segai ➤ texting|
|Asuka has never actually met him in person. All of their exchanges have been over the network via text. She thinks he's weird and that he knows way too much for his own good. He's also claimed to be her "friend", even if he's tried to get at the heart of some of her issues. She's confused about him and wavers between thinking he's an intrusive idiot or just a weirdo on the "internet".|
|Flora ➤ showmeyourwreath|
|She's just too damn accommodating and pleasant for Asuka to find an excuse to argue with her. This frustrates to Asuka to no end, while simultaneously being incredibly pleased that someone seems to genuinely appreciate and like her. Waiting for the other shoe to drop, so to speak.|
|Sheryl Nome ➤ galactically|
|Asuka's only spoken with Sheryl a few times, but she seems alright. She's much more optimistic than Asuka is and to an extent, Asuka finds that irritating, since she'd rather people share her cynical view of the world and their situation. But she's nice enough and she's a slightly older woman who can offer advice, so Asuka tolerates her. They're not really friends; more like acquaintances.|
This place was home, she realized. For all of the heartache and misery that tended to follow her around, this was more home than Germany had been. Or Tokyo-3. This was what she thought of. Her own space. Somewhere she could hide from the world if she needed to. Or that's what she'd thought for a long time until Shinji came back into the picture. But she was trying to get past that. Right? Or was she just kidding herself?
She took a step further into the room.
[Because really, Tenjou is the only person she can probably talk to about this that isn't herself.
Or Yukari. But she hasn't heard from Yukari in a while, so.]
It's about stupid relationship stuff, in case you're wondering.
She'd dressed for spring - colorful skirt, blouse, hat, sandals - the works. Time to show off. Just a bit.
Asuka glanced back at Utena with little lift of one brow. The downtown area seemed nice so far. A bit old-fashioned, but nice. She glanced down a side-street curiously, "So, any suggestions? This is your city, after all."
Well, not really, but Utena knew what she meant.
Asuka had tried giving Kaji a Valentine. Once. He'd laughed, accepted it with that good-natured, patronizing smile. And probably tossed it as soon as she was out of the room. He'd never really understood and he'd always treated her like a kid who didn't understand what love was about. Now that she thought about it these days, maybe he had been right. Looking back, she hated herself. A brat, yelling for attention, screaming that she was a grown-up when she was really just a scared teenager, not even into adulthood.
Of course, she wasn't much more than that now - just with the benefit of trauma, hindsight and more experience. She was different. She was the same. It all tended to blend together and the memories were fuzzy, except for a few sharp, stark moments that stood out from her time in Tokyo-3 and in the German testing facilities before that.
Like a dream.
Now, she had someone she cared about. Someone that she loved (or thought she loved). Someone she thought could give her a purpose in a world where she was just another teenager trying to survive. Nobody special. Not a pilot, not a the last hope of humanity. Just another young adult trying to fit in and find a niche (although she still got stares every so often; her flaming red hair marked her as a foreigner, or at least part foreign).
Today was different. She'd given Kaworu chocolates (as per tradition). Hopefully, they wouldn't be a complete disaster, but she was fairly sure they'd turned out alright. And then she'd dragged him out into the city, to see it, to find something to do, to explore. To get out of the apartment and the stifling atmosphere that tended to crop up everytime the three of them ended up in the same room at the same time. The unspoken, unexpressed awkwardness. The walking on eggshells, the little glares, the cringes.
She wasn't going to spend Valentine's Day like that.
So Asuka leaned back into her seat and leaned against Kaworu's bony shoulder, watching the cityscape roll by as she listened to the rhythmic click-clack of the train as it rolled over the tracks. They were going somewhere. She just hadn't figure out where yet.
At least she had a degree, still.
Those thoughts were, for the moment, gone. Life had been so hectic (especially since Shinji had come back and she still wasn't sure how she felt about that) that she'd missed something rather important to her. A particular anniversary that kept her going and prevented her from falling back into that trap of self-loathing and despair that shadowed her and reared its head at inopportune moments. So today, she'd brought home something, just to make up for the date they'd missed (almost two months ago to the day).
Asuka set the cake on the table (it wasn't anything speecial; store-bought and probably too much sugar, but better and easier than trying to make one on her own). Where was Kaworu, anyway? And Shinji for that matter.
It was going to be another awkward night in the apartment again, wasn't it?
Stripped, naked feet on the bathroom tile. Turned the water on until i ran hot, steam filling the little room and then she clambered into the shower and stood under the stream of water, bent over, letting it beat off of her back, hair plastered to her skin. She didn't plan to move for a long, long time.
[[OOC: Comes after this post.]]
Today was going to be a good day. She felt pretty sure of that.