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If That's Who I Am, Then I'll Fight Who I Am; Night, Day 5 (private)
Topic Started: Feb 15 2017, 06:35 PM (1,147 Views)
Zetsumodernista
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escaping the real world to face reality
[ *  *  *  *  * ]
((Asuka continued from Mystic River))

The finale was over in an instant. Asuka watched numbly as Scout walked forward, flipped Alvaro over, watched as one died and the other became a killer and then the other girl dissolved into tears.

So this is how it feels like to be mentally traumatized.

She had to do something, had to make sure this memory was burned into her head for the rest of her life. Asuka shuffled forward, then half-ran half-stumbled in before her instincts could pull a dirty trick and make her run away. Scout and the other girl were talking and voices were being raised and it was making Asuka want to leave--wasn't that funny?--but her legs were doing their job, taking her closer even as the rest of her body and mind screamed for her to stop. Was it all a misunderstanding? Did Scout kill Alvaro at the worst time, right as the girl was about to talk him down, ending his story as a tragedy right before he could redeem himself? Oh, why had she agreed to this, who was she to decide that telling her story was worth the end of his, fuck you Scout for doing this and fuck you Asuka for not trying to do something to stop her.

The other girl said something that sounded like an apology. That meant everything was okay, right?

Of fucking course not. Don't you dare try to slip out of this one, don't you dare even try to convince yourself that you're blameless here because even if you are why the hell is that your concern right now.

She awkwardly reached out a trembling hand to pat the girl's head, mumbled something like ssh it's okay it's not your fault and it all sounded so dumb and phony but that's why physical contact was a thing, right? Maybe human touch couldn't actually make up for anything that words couldn't say, but it'd tell the girl that something was missing, that she'd meant to tell her something that hadn't been delivered. Because Asuka meant it. Really. She tried to make eye contact with Scout, tried to glare at her, but Asuka had never been able to do that kind of thing and her eyes slid off of Scout's face and onto

Oh.

That did the trick, the sight of exposed meat dripping out of Alvaro searing itself into her brain forever, and she could look at Alvaro and she could look at the bullet holes in him but now she was taking in both and she felt her stomach clench, the bile rising in her throat, and she was telling herself--not on the corpse not on the corpse not on Alvaro oh god she has to step back she has to unfreeze her legs and uproot her feet and, oh, she felt bad for thinking of it as just a corpse, like he was nothing more than a sack of decomposing meat. Of course it was, even if he wasn't--and that wasn't a him anymore--but it was still imbued with the idea of Alvaro, with the idea of a real person and all the baggage that entails, and that was still something worth respecting because if she didn't then it'd be all too easy to feel less than she already did, because if she stopped reminding herself that that corpse was a person--even if it wasn't--then she would stop thinking of the person it used to be as a person and she knows exactly where that road leads. So no, she couldn't vomit on Scout or Audrey and definitely not on Alvaro, so she took a couple steps back and now the world's spinning around her, she wobbles, falls, ass landing in the pool of blood and she feels her head pitching forward, fucking god why

Her body shook, spasmed, and she gasped for air as she dry-heaved.

dear god dear god tinkle tinkle hoy

G056: Asuka Takahara: The one who can out-pretentious them all.
- Memories: 1
- Pregame: 1
- V6: 1-2
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Ciel
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"That’s not a prediction, that’s a spoiler.”
[ *  *  *  *  *  *  * ]
Alvaro Vacanti. Alessio Rigano. Nancy Kyle. Isabel Ramirez. Kimiko Kao. Brandon Harte.

The mental image of her crossing out the rat's name with a sharpened pencil felt good.

It said 'thank you'. Something about that pissed her off real bad. Now, there were certain things Scout had trouble discerning, that required her to pause and think. What, exactly, was that filthy rat thankful for? Thankful that it's girlfriend was there? He was just trying to kill her, wasn't he? Didn't make sense. Whatever. It was dead. That's all that matters.

When Scout attacked Alvaro, threw him to the hard concrete in the asylum basement, she had no intention of killing him. Yet. What she wanted to do was send a message to Alvaro. Maybe, just maybe, if she pummeled the shit out of him, he would think twice about killing again. Obviously she thought too highly of the pathetic, spineless rat.

So he, it, did not deserve to be thankful for anything. It did not deserve to die peacefully,

The rat's girlfriend clearly thought otherwise.

Scout did not know the girl's name. She was better with faces than with names. It started with an 'A', but that was all she could come up with. Suffice it to say, Scout had a feeling they weren't going to become fast friends any time soon. Which was fine. Scout didn't want to be friends, and she sure as hell did not need her gratitude OR her mumbly 'thanks'. If that rodent's ladyfriend wanted to act like a pouty little shithead, then that was fine with Scout. She could act pissed and stomp her feet and throw shade all around the room if that's what she wanted, if it helped her sleep at night. Scout didn't give a fuck, it made no difference. Saving her was tangential; Scout would have exterminated the rat regardless.

The first rat of many.

Alessio Rigano. Nancy Kyle. Isabel Ramirez. Kimiko Kao. Brandon Harte.

Scout did not see Asuka arrive, but when she made it inside the room, she went straight over to the girl. She watched as Asuka patted the top of the girl's head. Scout was conflicted about this. Of course she understood why. The girl said Alvaro was a friend. That was all Scout needed to know. At the same time, however, Scout could not find it within herself to care. The girl was a terrible judge of character if she considered Alvaro Vacanti, a known killer, as a friend.

Then again, Scout wasn't what you would call a 'character judge' either. She expected Asuka to have a stronger stomach. In an alternative universe, the sight of Asuka slipping on a puddle of blood and falling on her ass might have been slightly funny. It could have dispelled the tension in the room. Instead it made Scout sick to her stomach, and that irritated her in a way she could not fathom.

"C'mon Takahara, pull yourself together."

Scout stomped over, waited for Asuka's dryheaving to pass.

How it has taken Asuka nearly a week for her to see a corpse and get sick is anyone's guess. Scout can't get too mad at her. She dryheaved a lil' when she saw her first corpse too. Five years ago. On the internet.

"Asuka. You need to get up."

Out of the corner of her eye, Scout could see the rat's girlfriend shooting a dirty look. Scout shrugged it off; she was a lost cause.
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Zetsumodernista
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escaping the real world to face reality
[ *  *  *  *  * ]
No, she didn't have to get up. She could, of course, a freshly dead corpse wasn't all that different from how they looked inside movies, so it wasn't really all that disgusting or horrifying as long as you focused on how fucking accurate those movie corpses were. And Asuka had gotten through those movies fine, and even if they hadn't gotten the amount of blood exactly right and there was just something about a living, breathing actor that just didn't look dead it was close enough that the difference was largely academic, was whatever the visual equivalent of semantics was, but that wasn't the point. She's not supposed to get over it, to get up and keep her mind off the fact that a unique something that meant nothing to the universe but who cares what the universe thinks she's gonna fucking care and if she focuses on anything other than the fact that yeah, someone died in front of her, how can life be sacred?

Scout's voice grated on her ears. She had gotten over it easily enough, apparently. Good for fucking her. She did what needed to be done, so of course that means she doesn't have to feel bad about it now. Or was she hiding it? Or maybe the reality of it all hadn't hit her yet? Pathetically, Asuka obeyed, choking her dry-heaves with coughing, shakily rising to her feet--no, Scout, she's not gonna show you how weak she is by grabbing you for balance, don't even think about yelling at her about that--and all the while she kept her eyes on the corpse, because that gesture has to mean something, right? Asuka might not be strong enough to actually ignore what Scout was saying, but man was she good at that symbolic resistance thing that nobody ever notices and that didn't really cost her anything.

"I'm fine."

She could shove Scout onto Alvaro's body, force her to get up close and personal with her kill. Scout was stronger than her, and it probably wouldn't work even if she could do it. Not that she should do it, either. Scout's mental health mattered more than Alvaro's memory. For all she knew Scout was a deeply screwed up person and what she really needed was a hug. If that's what it was, Asuka wasn't really up to give her one.

She could give the other girl one, though. She probably needed it more.

Asuka reached out an arm, stopped. Let it fall. They were both covered in blood, and they were strangers, and who knows how the other girl would react to this, and Asuka had been in enough similar situations--less extreme, obviously, but similar nevertheless--to know that she's making excuses when really she's just too shy and scared to do anything but stand frozen and barely responsive but she still can't make herself do it. Even if she really needs a hug too.

In a small voice: "What's your name? Were you guys...?"
dear god dear god tinkle tinkle hoy

G056: Asuka Takahara: The one who can out-pretentious them all.
- Memories: 1
- Pregame: 1
- V6: 1-2
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Ciel
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"That’s not a prediction, that’s a spoiler.”
[ *  *  *  *  *  *  * ]
Scout grunted. "You sure as hell don't sound fine."

This damn room was too small. The ceiling was too low, the walls too compact. Scout was breathing in and out in quick, heated bursts. She told herself killing the rat had been all too easy but emotionally it wasn't. All she had was the satisfaction of going through with her plan, but it, him, Alvaro, 'thanking' the girl for being with him, was not in the plan. Was that why Asuka was acting like a fucking back? She didn't know.

"Fuck."

She turned away from Asuka, smacked herself in the head. Get your head back in the game champ.

"Why couldn't he just die? Why did he have to open his dumb mouth."

None of the people in the room heard Scout mutter to herself, although only two of them were dead and the third and forth were standing awkwardly at the other side of the room.

The girl said her name was Audrey Reyes. She and Alvaro were friends. Just friends.

Scout recognized the name but it didn't exactly do much to quell the irritation. Yeah, Asuka decided to walk right over to Reyes and - console her? Quite frankly, Reyes should be glad she was still alive. But now she was crying and acting like she just lost a family pet or some shit, and apparently Asuka was just eating it all up.

Reyes tried to rub the tears away with her arm to no avail. "It's okay. I'm okay. Thank you. I just... It hurts, you know? Losing someone like him. Someone I considered a friend."

"Your friend," Scout interrupted, "just tried to kill you."

Silence.

"When I walked in here, you were begging for him not to kill you," Scout continued. "He was looming over you, apologizing."

...

"Am I missing something here?" Scout added. "Because as far as I can tell he was going to kill you and I stopped him

The girl still had tears in her eyes, but the look she gave Scout was anything but sorrowful. "He didn't want to kill me. He came in here and asked me to shoot him! I said, no, I slapped him and he - he got mad at me, I think? I don't know, I..."

"Bullshit."

Audrey Reyes's face went crimson. Scout scoffed.

"I wasn't born yesterday. If he wanted to die he could have just shot a camera or jumped off a cliff."

Reyes held her head. Tears streaming down her face. "Of course I know that! I - He just came in here, looked me in the eye said he needed me to kill him! I don't know why he did it! He just - He just did it!"

"Why did he need you to do anything? Why didn't he shoot himself?"

"Why are you asking me?? I don't know!"

Scout rolled her head. "... Tell me this - why were you begging him not to kill you?"

Reyes recoiled. Her shoulders slumped. "I... When he asked me - told me he wanted me to kill him, I slapped him and - he kicked me, I think. It happened so quickly but I don't...

"I don't know. He said he couldn't do this anymore. I...

"I don't know why. It just happened."

Silence.

Scout rolled her head. She looked at Asuka, gauging her reaction to all of this.

"Y'know what I think?" Scout said. "I think you're just making up stories. I think you don't want to admit to yourself that your friend's a cold-blooded murderer who was going to add your name to the list. That's what I think."

Reyes was going to say something but stopped herself. She shook her head and mumbled something to Asuka, not Scout. Whatever. She could mumble away to her new best friend as much as she wanted. She was in denial, that much was clear to Scout. And nothing Reyes could possibly say would convince her otherwise.
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Zetsumodernista
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escaping the real world to face reality
[ *  *  *  *  * ]
"...that's what I think."

Of all things, that line was what gave Asuka pause.

A couple lifetimes or days or maybe it was hours ago, Asuka had been riding the bus back from school, surrounded by freshman--it was times like those that made her wish she'd had the motivation to go and get her driver's license, except she couldn't be motivated to find the motivation to get her driver's license. It wasn't that she hated being surrounded by freshman, or even surrounded by people, but she'd been tired, then, and they'd been talking gossip, which had made her even more tired, and she'd gone ahead and lain down on the bench, staring at the bus roof as the bus shook and rattled along and the roof shook and rattled over her head and looking at it made her feel nauseous and on the whole this sleeping on the bus thing was actually pretty uncomfortable but fuck it!--she had appearances to keep up. There'd been two girls in front of her, talking about some other girl, and one of them had gone, "It's, like, she's beautiful on the outside but ugly on the inside, is what I think". She’d said it unironically, too. It'd made Asuka want to melt into the bus bench.

How dare Scout sound like a shitty soap opera. How dare she cheapen the moment like this.

Good to know that that memory hadn’t come out of nowhere. And wasn’t fixating on weird things typical in times of trauma anyways? Which is why people so often have weird triggers and such--like that story of the woman who got triggered by eggs because she made him eggs for breakfast after he fucked with her real bad. This was normal. She was normal. She was okay, and fucked in the head, and that’s okay--she’s okay.

Scout wasn’t okay. Scout was fucked in the head. Even Asuka knows that you’re not supposed to tell someone off right after killing their friend--a confirmed murderer, yes--in front of them. And that was okay, everyone’s fucked up to begin with and the island could only be fucking them up more and at the end of the day you love them all the same because, hey, look at Scout, she’s fucked up but she’s not a bad guy--well, bad girl, but that has a weird and different set of connotations--she’s not a bad person, is what she’s saying. Fucked-up and complex and therefore beautiful, Asuka was sure of it, but it all looks so ugly unless she concentrates on the right things--things that existed only in her imagination, because at the end of the day Asuka didn’t know how Scout was complex. Conceptualizing that Scout was complex--that would have to do. Because what she actually experienced was a red-headed meatsack yelling pointlessly at another meatsack, and there’s nothing about that which feels real.

"Just...stop it, Scout."

Stop. In the name of realizing Asuka’s reality in some tangible way, stop.

"It's...it's not supposed to work like that!"
dear god dear god tinkle tinkle hoy

G056: Asuka Takahara: The one who can out-pretentious them all.
- Memories: 1
- Pregame: 1
- V6: 1-2
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Ciel
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"That’s not a prediction, that’s a spoiler.”
[ *  *  *  *  *  *  * ]
Scout turned her head and stared at Asuka. She gritted her teeth and furrowed her brows. What she said gave Scout pause.

"... Don't play dumb. I told you exactly how things were going to work."

There was more but Scout decided against saying anything else. Clearly Asuka was siding with Audrey. She shouldered her back, switched the grip of the gun from her left hand to her right. The gun was held upright, though not directly at the two girls. She walked right over to Alvaro and took his - its- the rat's bag. She sat on her haunches and patted down the pockets of Alvaro's jeans, just to make sure. It should have been disturbing, how easy it was for her to loot a corpse, but that barely registered for her.

"Whatever. I'm leaving. You two can stay here and play pretend, make believe all you want."

She stood up. Her fingers trembled and she exhaled through her nose.

"Eventually you are going to realize how stupid you're being right now. Sympathizing with the devil of all people is going to get you nowhere. If you give these people an inch, they will take a mile, no exceptions." I hope you get that through your thick skulls sooner rather than later. For your sake."

Then she turned and walked out of the room.

(Scout Pfeiffer continued in Die Anywhere Else.)
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Ciel
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"That’s not a prediction, that’s a spoiler.”
[ *  *  *  *  *  *  * ]
Audrey watched Scout leave the room in a huff. She really did not have the energy to stop her from patting down her friend's corpse. It made her grind her teeth and she wanted to slap the redhead like she did with Alvaro. But she didn't do anything to stop her, because she really wanted her to leave and if that meant just taking Alvaro's stuff and walking away then so be it. Audrey didn't care. She just wanted her gone.

The wet footsteps descended into the hallway. Audrey listened until they faded away. It left both her and her new companion in silence. Well. The room was silent, save for an inexplicable drip-drip from somewhere close by. Audrey turned her head to look and found nothing. Maybe it was her mind playing tricks.

Her attention turned back to the other girl.

"Thanks. You didn't have to do any of that."

She paused, looked over the other girl. Audrey was sitting on the floor again, legs outstretched, propped up on her elbows. She was far away from Alvaro's body now, but the blood staining her skirt was making her self-conscious.

"Are you going to go after her?" Audrey asked. Somehow she doubted that, but who knows? Maybe they were friends.
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Zetsumodernista
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escaping the real world to face reality
[ *  *  *  *  * ]
The rhetoric of reality. Oh, Scout was really doing it. Time to grow up and face reality. That's what this was all about, right? Time for you to learn what a harsh, cruel world you live in, time to learn that if you're not harsh and cruel right back you'll be a victim.

Asuka clenched her fists. How dare she, how dare she tell Asuka of the nature of reality. Because her worldview's so fucking objective. Because of course reality only really consists of the universe where you eat, kill, fuck, and die, and when you strip it all down until all you're left with is the core everything else is just window dressing. That's what's real to Scout, huh?

What Asuka's thinking probably goes without saying, but let's not leave it as something to be assumed, let's make a special occasion for this thought: Fuck her.

She didn't really feel better for doing that, though. Asuka rolled her shoulders back, tried to let out the tension. Breathe in, out. It wasn't helpful or meaningful to feel angry about something like this.

Audrey. She'd said her name was Audrey. She was talking to Asuka.

"I..."

No. As much as she'd like to think so, she hadn't done anything for Audrey.

"Really, I just couldn't stand her anymore..."

She sighs.

"Sorry it all went down like that."

A question, now.

"Not really much that works out well between us, so probably not, I guess."

A gesture at Alvaro's body: "Were you...close?"

It feels insensitive to ask, but this was the kind of thing Asuka had to know.
dear god dear god tinkle tinkle hoy

G056: Asuka Takahara: The one who can out-pretentious them all.
- Memories: 1
- Pregame: 1
- V6: 1-2
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Ciel
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"That’s not a prediction, that’s a spoiler.”
[ *  *  *  *  *  *  * ]
Audrey shook her head and smiled. It was a bitter smile but a smile nonetheless. "Hey, it's okay. This place just brings out the worst in people, I guess."

Scout was always kind of a stuck up bitch though. Audrey tried her best not to think badly of people but let's be honest? You just can't get along with everyone. She sat up, hugged her legs. The girl asked her a question. She looked at her, blinked. Then she looked at Alvaro's corpse.

"... No. We weren't close."

No offense taken, of course. It was only a simple question, and from the way Audrey was 'making excuses' for Alvaro, it was only understandable that Asuka might be curious.

"I mean. I like to think that I could have considered him as a friend. But we've never really talked all that much. I'd say we were more friendly acquaintances back home?

"I always liked him though."

Her shoulders drooped.

"I found him around the time I first woke up though. He was beaten up, like, real bad. So honestly I think he was goaded into killing and... I dunno. No one was helping him, so I tried to..."

. . . No. She was rambling now. This girl didn't care. What bitterness Audrey held for the boy was in the past. She looked away from Alvaro.

"Oh. Um, I'm Audrey by the way... Wait. Did I already introduce myself?" She scratched her cheek awkwardly from her subtle change of subject. "Sorry. I think I'm still in shock."
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Zetsumodernista
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escaping the real world to face reality
[ *  *  *  *  * ]
Random bits of advice crossed Asuka's mind, useless for anything but making her feel helpful.

When someone is in shock, have them lie down in the shade and raise their feet about a twelve inches off the ground.

Like she would've done anything even if she did have something legitimate to offer. Philosophy, maybe. Talk about how meaningful and beautiful the ugliness is, and it becomes meaningful and beautiful. Because of course it would console Audrey after she'd lost her crush--no, don't dramatize a relationship that Audrey's downplaying, don't aid and abet their narrative. And don't talk about stuff that you want to talk about under the pretext of helping someone with their trauma.

"It's fine. Take it easy."

What else could she say, though? An awkward 'oh', a painfully loud pause, and then another, and then nothing, because at the end of the day Asuka doesn't know a thing about playing armchair psychiatrist for someone who'd just lost a friendly acquaintance.

What comes out are platitudes. Harmless, but she still feels dirty saying them.

"I mean, you couldn't have done anything, right? Like, you tried, at least. But..."

There's nothing you could've done to help him. That's what would've finished out that cliche storm. Except she didn't know how Audrey was gonna take a comment like that about a guy she maybe-sorta liked, and she didn't believe it anyways, didn't believe it because...philosophy. Mental gymnastics.

Fuck her. Figures that the only thing she's good for has nothing to do with the real world. She was a stranger in a strange land here, or her body was, intruding, a spy sent by her ego to infiltrate a place filled with other spies sent by other egos. Shame they all bothered with the whole spy thing, seeing as it ruined the whole point of infiltration. Can't corrupt this place with her ego, with all the egos, when they were all being so weird about it.

Here's an idea: let's get us all the fuck out of here. Then it wouldn't just be for Asuka's sake, and her selfishness wouldn't be quite so bad.

"I guess you can't exactly blame him, either, for what's happening. Or anyone else, really. I don't like to think of this place as, like, telling us the truth about ourselves and how much we suck. If anything, this place is a master class on how good people can fuck each other up. Not to imply that you fucked him up or anything. But, uh..."

C'mon, relate back to your point. At least let yourself pretend that you're doing this to help someone. Or if you can't pretend to yourself, at least actually help someone.

"...long story short, we're probably all okay even though we're all gonna die?"

dear god dear god tinkle tinkle hoy

G056: Asuka Takahara: The one who can out-pretentious them all.
- Memories: 1
- Pregame: 1
- V6: 1-2
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Ciel
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"That’s not a prediction, that’s a spoiler.”
[ *  *  *  *  *  *  * ]
Audrey took it easy. She just sat there on the floor, legs criss-crossed underneath her. The arms of her hoodie dangle at her sides; her actual arms were tucked inside of the hoodie itself. Why the heck was it so cold all of a sudden?

She winced at Asuka's comment. She said nothing at first. Her eyes fell to the floor and she bit her lip.

"I guess you're right."

Audrey did not smile. She was just trying to make Audrey feel better. It wasn't working very well though. In fact it was only serving to make her feel worse.

"It's not just that though," Audrey said as she sat back. "Alvaro was just a scared boy. When you're scared you don't think before you act. And when you don't think you do stupid stuff. That doesn't excuse anything he's done but... I don't want to start seeing my classmates, the people that I used to see day in and day out, as monsters. Because they totally aren't! Alvaro was a nice person, he used to be good. And I'm sure he isn't the only one."

Audrey stopped talking. She turned her head to look out the open doorway. She sighed, pushing one arm through the neck of her hoodie in order to scratch at her jaw.

"... No. Actually. We're all a little 'fucked up' in our own little way. If we were all 'okay' then we wouldn't even need a week to kill each other."

Audrey let out a laugh. Just a firm 'ha', punctuated by another bitter smile.

"That was a terrible joke, huh? You get what I mean, right?"
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Zetsumodernista
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escaping the real world to face reality
[ *  *  *  *  * ]
"I mean, I guess I get it, but...uh..."

Silly of her to worry about it, but Asuka wasn't sure she actually got the joke. Was misanthropy the punchline? Or was it reverse-misanthropy?

For long seconds, she stared at Audrey's shoes. "Huzzah for us for being fucked up, I guess?"

Asuka didn't really know what to say past that. Audrey had sorta agreed, sorta disagreed with her, and she didn't feel articulate enough right now to defend her points. Not like she had anything better to say, though.

"I guess what I meant was, none of us are actually, like, evil or anything. We're fucked up, everybody's fucked up a little, but that's not reason to call down fire and brimstone and throw us in hell, cuz we're still decent, and we're fucked up, but it's good that we're fucked up, and then you have decent but fucked up people fucking other people up and it's beautiful cuz it's so fucked up, right? It's a right little tragedy. Bad things happen to good people because good people do bad things to good people."
dear god dear god tinkle tinkle hoy

G056: Asuka Takahara: The one who can out-pretentious them all.
- Memories: 1
- Pregame: 1
- V6: 1-2
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Ciel
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"That’s not a prediction, that’s a spoiler.”
[ *  *  *  *  *  *  * ]
It's okay if Asuka did not get the joke. That's the best part about different interpretations; two people can see the same thing differently. Different headspaces, different ways of thinking. Audrey sat up, her arms resting in her lap.

"It's cool, don't worry about it."

She cut the thick silent with a swipe of her hand. She nodded, too, because huzzah for being fucked up. Huzzah, bad things happen to good people. She smirked, eyes closed and the corners of her mouth to crinkle.

"Now you're getting it," Audrey said. She stretched her arms over her head. "We're on the same page now."

She liked Asuka. They were both awkward and weird and a little fucked up. This was okay. Audrey could deal with this. The emptiness in her chest that Alvaro left, the one she could not simply compartmentalize away, remained. But with Asuka, Audrey found it a bit easier to ignore it.

(Audrey Reyes continued in And Now That I Am Here, I Am No Longer Here.)
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Zetsumodernista
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escaping the real world to face reality
[ *  *  *  *  * ]
"Um. Okay."

But were they really on the same page? It'd be kinda anticlimactic if they were, if they had really understood each other so easily, because in what world could you figure out where somebody was coming from if you didn't know, like, really know, the person? Only really happened with soulmates, and Asuka didn't feel like Audrey was a soulmate. She didn't feel dreamy, didn't feel the kind of affirmation that made her blood rush and her thoughts race until her body was left far behind, a tiny speck in the distance that she was barely aware of. No. She could feel the sweat slowly drying on her arms, the blood seeping through her jeans. She was here, she was present. Which meant that she was alone-- at least, on an emotional level.

Oh, Asuka, you fucking emo. A true emo wouldn't care how emo they looked, though. She had a ways to go.

Asuka hated how conversations always seemed to dry up every time she tried to get to know someone, hated how she could never push herself through her awkwardness whenever the conversation started to dry up. All imagined, all in her head, because who gives a fuck about all that this point. But Asuka's stuck in her head. There's a good cosmic joke in there. Because hey, even if she dies alone and unfulfilled, she'll at least get to die a grandiosely pathetic death. Nihilism had a beauty all its own.

She didn't feel all that nihilistic, though, was the thing. She wasn't being crushed under despair and meaninglessness.

You're going to die alone, no one has or ever will understand you, you will never leave a notable mark on the world, and your life will have been devoid of meaning or fulfillment.

Nothing.

You can conceptualize that your life has meaning, but if you do not feel that meaning then your conceptualization is meaningless and you are nobody.

She tensed, waiting for chills to run up her spine, tears come to her eyes, pulse quicken, something. Anything. Still nothing. But she could do Ligotti one better.

You can conceptualize that your life is meaningless, but if you do not feel that meaninglessness then your conceptualization is meaningless and you are less than nobody.

Goddammit. Asuka knew she had no right to feel this way, no right to lament on her feelings when all around her people were dying and getting fucked up watching and hearing about their friends getting killed and killing but that's the thing, wasn't it? Asuka was jealous of them. She would do anything to be Alvaro, to be Scout or Penelope or Audrey, to be a something, a somebody, rather than an empty shell of nothing, barely there.

Asuka gripped her arms. Her grasp tightened, her fingernails biting into her skin.

She knew where this line of thought went, and the concerns were kinda different. But still. She'd be damned if she died alone. She'd be damned if she didn't at least feel sad when it came time for her to die alone.

((Asuka continued elsewhere))
dear god dear god tinkle tinkle hoy

G056: Asuka Takahara: The one who can out-pretentious them all.
- Memories: 1
- Pregame: 1
- V6: 1-2
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