Neon Genesis Evangelion © Gainax.

Me in You

She sits with her feet propped up at the table, swigging a can of beer and laughing to herself.

He walks past clad in shorts and a white undershirt, his headphones playing some undiscernable melody that makes his head nod in time to the beats and pokes his head into the fridge. Finding nothing, he shuts it and his eyes follow Pen-Pen as he wanders by quite unconcernedly.

His eyes finally turn to her and she wants to stop laughing, wants to see his eyes reflecting something back at her other than disappointment and that woman, that stranger, who reclines in her skin and is false, inside-and-out, and laughs because she wants to hurt herself.

She wonders where her old self has gone - the silent child full of pain and angry - at herself, at her father, at the world. The last time she saw her, she thinks, was that first time she lay in her lover's arms - and then she laughed until she cried and now she doesn't cry anymore.

Then she realizes with a start that he's standing in front of her – that silent child watching her without expression. She wants to protect him; she realizes, dimly - she wants him to protect her.

And she wants to find herself in him - in the trembling embrace of his arms, in the deep crevasses in his heart. She has always been searching for that thing she lost.

But that would be destroying him for her own sake and she doesn't think she could stand that, so she opens her mouth and all the words she wants to say fall away.

She offers him a beer.

His gaze is full of derision but before he can refuse the door slams open. Asuka is home.

She drinks it herself, later, and savours the taste of the might- have-beens.