Finding Comfort From The Cold
I can see the snow fall over Tokyo Three from my living room window this is the first true snow fall in all of the years since second impact. Oculus did say that since restoring the seas to Blue Oceans and wild life the seasons would start to return but it’s taken over two decades. Yet I’m not feeling that great about it, it’s killed some of my sun flowers okay maybe I sound petty but I don’t like things that break and hurt them there my pride and joy. Gods I’m so pathetic I need to get out more but I know why I don’t go out much now other that to shop because that bitch Hikari ruined my ficken life. Asuka eyed her flat screen from the sofa hearing the news presenter voice hit the air. “Well Langley was not present at the press conference this year but maybe that’s for the better she’s an egotistic know it all and an utter disgrace to her fellow pilots. Plus from what we’ve heard the British have been running an Evangelion training program and they had eight candidates though we’ve heard that the successful candidate is none military.” Asuka felt a sneer form as she eyed the screen. “Change the ficken channel!”
She watched as the channel changed to another showing pet adverts “Feed your little Neko the best money can bye Nyan cat food and biscuits it’s filled with rainbow goodness.” Asuka breathed in closing her eyes as she lay back on her recliner only for the advert to change to another as Maya’s voice hit the air, she had heard that her friend had been doing these adverts. “Animals makes the best companions and we believe they deserve good homes so we will be running a adoption drive at our shelter we have everything here pet food pet beds pet toys everything to help you with your animals because there great company. Much better than people at times, so come on down and help us adopt out all these animals to good homes.” Asuka felt her eyes open as she eyed the television as the advert ended showing there logo in big bright colours along with the Nerv sponsor icon. Wasn’t this place close to where she lived? Wasn’t it was one train stop away she took in a deep breath as a thought crossed her mind she was lonely and she wanted company there was no denying it anymore.
Maybe a pet was the answer at least she wouldn’t feel utterly alone because that was all she’d felt so utterly alone in these past few months and it had been such a painful strain emotionally. Some nights she had just wanted to get wasted on alcohol but she knew better and she knew it wouldn’t help her it never did it just numbed the pain but took away none of the emotion. She eased herself out of her recliner chair she could take the train it wouldn’t take long to get down to the place even if it was late in the quite late day. She didn’t go out much anymore anyway maybe no one would even notice her and maybe she might find a pet that really liked her. After all animals didn’t judge you they loved you unconditionally that was what Shinji believed at least. She pulled on her thick red winter coat pulling up the hood as she got in to her heavy winter shoes frankly she wasn’t looking forward to the cold, but maybe it would just be nice to get out for once.
Emily watched the thick snow fall it was very late in the day now and the adoption drive had gone well they adopted out almost all of the cats and dogs but now the weather had turned to thick snow and people weren’t coming in. She turned to her manager opposite hoping her Japanese was improving. “Should I shut the shelter?” Kazuko turned to her other employee who was who a middle aged man named Toru who was gentle feeding two small kittens with a milk feeder as they weren’t old enough yet to be adopted due to age and all were being wrapped up to keep them warm. “No give it a while longer.” She was about to say only for the door bell to go off as a figure came in from the snow dressed in thick red winter coat wearing thick gloves her dark boots hit the carpet as she breathed in rubbing herself to try and stay warm. She watched as the figure came closer pulling down the hood revealing thick red hair and piecing blue eyes she blinked in surprise this was the face of a very famous person who was famous for all the wrong reasons and had not been seen out in public for well over two months solid.
Emily leaned over speaking in a whisper. “Is that?” Kazuko nodded watching as Toru turned a very displeased look appearing on his face though he said nothing. Clearly Asuka Langley was not here for a pet she must have a run in here to get away from the snow maybe it would be prudent to just give her a coffee or a hot drink then she would leave. She took in a deep breath before speaking calmly knowing full well that this woman had a reputation for having a sharp temper and she did not want to get her mad as she clearly had no control over her violent actions. “Is it cold out?” Asuka breathed in sharply that was a ficken under statement it was freezing out side she moved brushed the snow off her coats shoulders. “Yes…it’s freezing.” Kazuko kept calm as the red haired woman pulled her gloves off. “Can I offer you a cup of tea of some kind?”
She paused before speaking. “Then you can be on your way as I’m sure you coming in here was to get out of the cold.” Asuka breathed in finally starting to feel warm. “I’m fine and I’m not here to get out of the cold I came here to adopt an animal.” She heard something clatter opposite causing her to turn to the European blonde girl opposite who pulled up the drinking mug which she had almost dropped. Kazuko breathed in deeply seeing Toru’s look turned to detain as he spoke coldly. “Considering your track record with people do you even think you should even be around animals?” Asuka felt the pain hit her chest hard. She knew some form of comment was coming it happened where ever she went now and it never got any easer she was the villain to everyone now. Maybe this was a really bad idea maybe she shouldn’t have come here she took in a deep breath knowing her next words would fall on deaf ears they always did. “I never hurt that woman…she set me up.”
Toru laughed bitterly. “Yeah that’s what guilty people always say.” Kazuko watched as a hurt flicked across the red haired woman’s eyes it was a blink and you’d miss it moment but it was there screaming out revealing real pain and it was so out of character with how this woman was portrayed in the media. She put her hands together as she changed the subject as she was very curious now. “What pet did you want?” Asuka looked up slightly. “A cat…I like them you see my units named after a cat….” She stopped realizing that she was rambling which she tended to do more now as she didn’t get a lot of conversation with people these days so when she did the words burst out in a rush. Kazuko looked up. “Ah yes Nekomata my son has one of those fluffy cat two tailed toys in unit 02’s colours.” She paused before speaking. “It is late in the day and a lot of animals have been adopted out but we still have some cats that need good homes.” She ignored the shocked looks from the others as she walked past them towards the double doors. “Come with me.”
She watched as Asuka followed her slowly watching as the doors closed behind them she turned as she spoke calmly. “I want to apologise for Toru, he is a really lovely man and he’s just protecting me like you he loves cats to and he’s really good at fostering and caring for kittens.” She paused before speaking. “So tell me what kind of cat were you looking for?” Asuka looked up slightly. “Look you don’t have to be nice to me just because of who I am….I know what I am.” Kazuko raised an eyebrow. “What are you Langley Soryu?” Asuka eyed her. “I’m an asshole that no one likes.” Kazuko carried on walking towards the many cat pens. “You know my father was a very wise man and he told me this interesting Chinese proverb once, which is call a man or a woman a thief long enough they’ll go out and steal something.” Asuka breathed in deeply. “Interesting proverb I just don’t see what it has to do with me.” Kazuko eyed the red head who looked very downcast and nothing like the media made her out to be as there was no ego or temper just sadness. “It means that there’s a danger that when people tell us something far too often that’s negative we start to believe it deep down with in ourselves and we become what they say we are.”
She used her key card to open the main door close by to the cats. “It sounds to me like you starting to believe what they say about you.” Asuka looked at the much older woman for a long moment before speaking. “You can’t change people’s minds once there set in stone it’s just a fact of life.” Kazuko looked up slightly. “And yet we are speaking right now and you don’t come across the way the news projects you.” She raised her hand as they stopped. “Green stickers means cats have been already been adopted and are just going to be picked up, yellow means they have been adopted but have a health issue and red means not ready for adoption as there still being acclimatized to people.” Asuka breathed in walking past the pens which had cat trees blankets and toys and a lot of green stickers on them. “You had a very successful drive.” Kazuko looked up. “Yes though your head of the science at Nerv promoting the drive was massively helpful, I’m sorry I forget her name.”
Asuka turned slightly. “Maya.” She stopped by one of the pens noticing a black sticker. “What does black mean?” Kazuko breathed in deeply. “Maybe its better you don’t know Langley Soryu.” Asuka turned sharply. “What’s black?” Kazuko breathed in sadly. “Death row.” Asuka eyed the pen where a tortoiseshell cat with dark fur and sitting perched on a tree looking unimpressed its yellow eyes were slits and it had an ear that was massively ripped on the left side as well as shaggy fur. “Why?” Kazuko raised her hand. “Look it’s just a thing that happens when we can’t adopt them out and I hate having to have to use euthanasia on any animal but it is a sad reality for those who can’t be adopted out and have been here over a year.” Asuka eyed the cat. “Yes but what’s wrong with.” She eyed the cat’s electric panel which showed the gender. “Her?” Kazuko eyed the cat. “Nothing she’s acclimatized to people and she loves attention despite being a forma stray but people don’t want her because she looks scruffy and has a tatty ear.”
Asuka moved closer to the pen. “Just because something’s not ficken perfect, doesn’t make it any less.” She turned to her. “Can I go in there?” Kazuko blinked in surprise she raised her key card. “Sure, I can’t promise that she’ll like you though she can be very stand offish of new people.” Asuka stepped through the door to the pen watching as it closed behind her she slowly moved over sitting herself opposite the cat who stared at her clearly weary. She took in a deep breath as she picked up one of the cat toys trying to get the cats attention which didn’t do much. She breathed in deeply as she lowered her voice to a very soft and gentle tone. “You know you don’t have a name but you look an Erika to me…” She paused before speaking again. “You know in German it means to march like a solider and there’s even a song for it.” She watched as the cat turned to look at the glass outside ignoring her. Asuka shifted a little closer but not to close. “I bet you miss being outside right? I mean its no fun in here it’s so small, I live in this farm house and there’s lots of farm land.”
Kazuko watched as Emily and Toru appeared both looking concerned as they came towards her as Toru spoke while he held his two sleeping kittens wrapped up in a blanket. “We came to check that you were okay you know Langley Soryu is known for being violent.” Kazuko turned to the pen. “I’m fine Langley Soryu is in one the pens with one of our more difficult costumers.” Emily blinked eyeing the stray which she knew all to well since as it had scratched her more than once and it had been very painful. “Did you tell her that, this cat is foul tempered and scratches people? Hence why she’s where she is now.” Kazuko folded her arms stepping away from the pen. “No I didn’t but I think how a person behave around an animal says a lot about who they are as a person.” Asuka moved her hand closer to the cat who suddenly hissed. “I won’t hurt you don’t be afraid.” The next moments turned to blinding pain as the claws went for her hand instantly drawing blood she pulled away sharply eyeing her hand as red blood ran down it she eyed the cat that remained puffed up slightly. She felt a sly smile form. “Oh yes Erika fits you so well.” She eyed the cat. “You’re a warrior I bet that’s how you got that tatty ear did you beat up all off the other cats?”
She felt a toothy grin form as she carried on speaking in a low soft voice. “I bet you beat them up really good.” She moved hand closer but even slower this time watching as the cat looked up only to strike a second time though this time causing a sharp pain but nothing she couldn’t handle despite that it draw more blood. She eyed her bloody hand. “Must have ficken sucked though eating out of bins and trying to get stay alive but your strong right?” She shifted even closer moving her hand again seeing the cat stop puffing up more curious now. “I think it’s a shame no one wants to adopt you but you know I would like to, because I know what it’s like when people don’t want or like you and judge you just for being you.” She eased her fingers closer watching as the cat sniffed them before drawing back a little before coming forward again this time allowing her to move her fingers through its soft fur on its head. “See it’s not so bad to want to be loved.”
She watched as the cat pulled away but then came back again now deeply curious as it leapt off its cat tree suddenly becoming very interested in her. She moved her hand gently running it down its back in a careful movement as the cat suddenly showed interest in playing as she moved the feather toy around. Kazuko felt a smile form as she moved her hand up pulling the black sticker down ignoring the others shocked expressions. “You know maybe we should change this to green when she’s ready.” She paused raising her finger. “That is not a violent woman that is a woman who just like that cat is clearly misunderstood.” She stepped away. “When she’s ready get her a cat basket and let her purchase some items the normal like litter trays, toys and such.” She put a hand on her chin. “Oh and get some plasters and antiseptic for her bleeding hand she might pretend that isn’t hurting but it probably is.”
Asuka breathed in finishing the cat tree she had put everything out but Erika had hiding herself behind the sofa all night. She’d been told that she had to keep her in for a few days until she was adjusted to the new house not that she’d want to go out anyway as it was freezing outside. She breathed in refilling one of the food bowls so far Erika had not come out but she had been told to be patient. She looked up hearing the movement as the cat wandered out from behind the sofa moving very slowly towards her. She felt a smile form as she kneeled down opposite her speaking gently. “Hey there was wondering when you’d come out of there.” She eased out her hand gently stroking under the cats chin watching as she rubbed against her hand. “This is going to be your home now and I’m going to talk good care of you. You’re never going to be hungry or cold again and you’re going to have everything you could ever want and tomorrow I’ll show to my Grandma over the video phone.” She eased out one of the feather toys. “So do you want to play?” She moved the toy watching as Erika instantly went after it feeling a smile form they were going to have a lot of fun together she could see it already.