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Kusanagi was quite surprised, one morning, to get an email from 'Yatouji Satsuki'. He was quite sure he didn't know anyone named Yatouji. Then he opened the email and read it and felt a sinking feeling in the pit of his stomach.

Somehow he couldn't bring himself to be surprised, though.

He wrote a rather terse reply, that amounted to "I'll be there". Then he sat back and tried to hold off a headache by sheer force of will. It didn't work very well, so, giving silent thanks that it was his day off, he took a few aspirin and decided that, for once, he'd try going back to bed and seeing if the day was any better when he woke up.

--

She'd said to meet her at a certain park on a certain day, and he'd shown up early and spent a little time feeding the pigeons. It wasn't long, however, before she showed up, the gears of her bicycle clicking in a regular pattern that brought Kusanagi out of his reverie and reminded him uncomfortably of the noise of a broken disc drive, although he wasn't sure why. No, not a broken disk drive. A functioning disk drive trying to access a lost file.

She swung off the bike, and Kusanagi looked up with a start, feeling guilty and startled, inexplicably. Like a machine, he found himself thinking. Lifeless and cold, but her movements are perfect.

Kusanagi didn't like perfect things. He like living things. He found himself wondering what someone like her was doing on the side that might, in theory, destroy humanity - and Kusanagi didn't like that idea, mostly, but sometimes he did - but he decided to withhold judgment.

"Come with me," she said. He wasn't surprised that she hadn't needed to ask who he was, either.

--

He tried not to catch her eye. He didn't know what to think of her. Of the other Angels he only talked to Yuuto, as a rule, since Yuuto seemed to be the only one who wanted to talk to him. They became friends soon enough, and found themself spending time together even when they didn't have to, and having pointless but relaxing conversations about art and poetry and the best ways to grow orchids, over tea. Satsuki sometimes looked at them askance when they left meetings together, but she never did more than look. Kusanagi wondered what she was thinking.

He didn't like the basement where they met. It felt too cold to him. She seemed to revel in the cold.

--

There was an obvious way to talk to her, he realized, that didn't involve catching her eye. She'd probably prefer it that way anyway.

So he wrote her an email, and asked all the things he couldn't bring himself to ask: what was she doing there? Why was she on the side of the Angels? What was it to her?

He got a reply sooner than he had expected.

--

It's not that I hate humans - although I do. It's only that I see there are more important things. Kusanagi-san, you of all people should realize that something beautiful is being ruined by allowing humans to remain on the earth.

All we're doing is removing a cancer. Once it was a vital part, but it's grown too big for its function, started to reproduce without reason, and so it has to be destroyed for the body to be healthy again.

I'm not afraid of change.

--

He couldn't think of anything to say in reply, so he deleted the message and tried not to think too hard about it.

But deep down he knew she was probably right.

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