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by Daniel Howard, Jamie Bonsignore, Paul Vlosich II, & Paul Baptist
-Umm.. Hello there.. How's it going? I guess I could start with an introduction.. uhh.. I'm what people call the Third Children, the Pilot of Evangelion Unit-01, and the son of Commander Ikari Gendo.. My name is Ikari Shinji.. For almost a year now I have been living in the fortress city known as Tokyo-3, a city which day by day faces a crisis like no other. I shouldn't say the entire city.. I should really just say that I do.. that would be selfish but.. it would also be true..
"WE DON'T NEED A PILOT WITH THAT ATTITUDE!" The day after I arrived in Tokyo-3, I was taken in by a fellow employee for my father's branch, NERV. Her name is Misato Katsuragi.. she is now the Major of Operations at NERV Headquarters, and my lawful guardian.
"Are you finicky?"
"Wha? Umm.. uhhh.."
"Isn't this nice?"
"Two for dinner sure beats eating alone!" So far, we've gotten along.. and I guess until recently, I've been comfortable around her..
"Misato.. why is it I can't cry anymore? I feel the pain, but the tears won't come.. why is that?" I don't understand her, more so myself now.
"Do you trust your father's work?"
"Of course not! How could I trust him?"
I guess I'm not alone.. I would hope that maybe the other pilots felt the same as I do..
"EVA UNIT ONE HAS GONE COMPLETELY SILENT!"
"PILOT SIGNALS HAVE SHUT DOWN!"
"EVA UNIT ONE HAS REACTIVATED!"
"It can't be?!"
Shinji now stands before a hospital window, watching as Ayanami is being taken in a bed down the hallway.
"Don't worry Ikari.. I will protect you.. Goodbye.."
Ayanami Rei.. I try so hard and yet..
"Don't say you don't have anything else.. And don't say goodbye before you go.. it's just too sad.."
"But no.. I cannot die.. because he keeps me here.. I'm not allowed to obtain death.."
"Let's be friends!"
"Because it will be easier!"
"If I am commanded to do so.. then I will.."
"Our brave hero Shinji will come and rescue us pathetic women!"
"Stay away from me, you freak!"
"If you ever need help.."
"I want to know you more.."
What about me..?
"*Giggles* No, stupid.. I want to know you.."
"DON'T TOUCH ME! STAY AWAY FROM ME! ALL YOU DO IS HURT ME!"
But.. But Asuka!
"YOU THINK YOU CAN JUST GO AFTER ME? YOU ONLY WANT ME BECAUSE YOU CAN'T HAVE YOUR WAY WITH THE DOLL OR WITH MISATO!"
No! That's not true!
"JUST DIE!" ASUKA!
"WHO DO YOU THINK YOU ARE TRYING TO USE ME LIKE THIS?!"
A car screams by him as he nearly ducks out of the way of the oncoming vehicle. Shinji now stands in front of his apartment building.. spending a good couple of hours in thoughtless walking and somehow finding it.. He looked up with a deep sigh of pain as he came to the front gates. He held those cold bars in his gentle, pruning hands, looking towards the elevator.
::Does she want me there? In that house.. in my home?.....Mother........Asuka.....::
He felt lightheaded for a moment as he coughed in pain, falling to his knees. He was burning up. A fever had struck him and his eyes were shutting quickly. His right hand didn't let go of the bars as he fell to his knees, still holding on to the cold metal....
Asuka trudged about the town.... Seeing no sign of Shinji, she decided to head back home. Her hair was wet, and the raincoat hadn't helped. Instead, the rain went down her back, drenching her shirt and skirt.
Coming to the apartment, she noticed a figure by the gate. He was soaked through.
::Prolly just a bum, was prolly made homeless by the last angel attack...::
As she got closer to the figure she noticed who it was....
"Mein Gott!! Anata baka...."
When he didn't turn to her, she walked over to him....
::I wonder if he's dead.... wouldn't surprise me....::
Getting closer, she noticed his breathing was heavy and labored. She placed her hand on his forehead. He was burning up. Grabbing him under the arms and shifting his weight onto her, she headed towards the nearest train station. There was no way to treat him in Misato's house. As she half carried, half dragged him to the station, he mumbled under his breathe.
He seemed to be having conversations with a nightmare. She tried to make out what she could, but she couldn't hear much except for mumbled names.
Making it onto the platform and into the train, she headed towards NERV, and the hospital there. Shinji needed help, and this was the only place that she could think of to get him some.
His eyes opened slightly as he sneezed, seeing a figure that he couldn't make out. The train ride shook his head like an earthquake, making the fever worse on his stomach. He mumbled slightly as he could barely make the words form out of his throat.
Having enough strength to raise a hand to the figure, he grasped it around the neck, and held close to them, not caring who it may be. He began to shed silent tears as his eyes began to roll back into his head, the lids closing slowly as he sunk into an unconscious state.
She looked down at him as he tried to call her name... Then he grabbed her in an embrace and cried himself into unconsciousness.
"Shinji!!! Don't loose now.... Keep fighting!!"
::Come on you baka.... don't lose now... if you do... then who's going to be my adversary..... Definitely not Wondergirl, she's got no spirit like you do......::
"We're almost there Shinji... don't give up yet...."
The train roared into the station. She grabbed him and for the most part dragged him to NERV hospital...
She looked around for someone... anyone.... not finding anyone, she stood in one spot and screamed....
::If that doesn't get anyone's attention, I dunno what will...::
After she screamed, 3 nurses and a doctor came running towards her. She motioned frantically to Shinji who was draped over her shoulder, still unconscious.
"Help me... help me please....." she said before she passed onto the floor, exhaustion and dampness setting in from her rain soaked clothes....
The nurses scrambled left and right and around, trying to get the vital information on the two strange patients that just arrived. Files were tossed about and the children were delivered into the same operations room.
After a lot of mumbo jumbo and doctor talk, Shinji was put on critical condition with an over conducive fever. Asuka on the other hand was put in a bed next to him, hooked to an I.V. and was labeled with a minor flu.
It was now morning, and with a sudden stir, Asuka sat up grabbing her chest in shock.
She fought to catch her breath, looking back and forth and finally noticing Shinji hooked up to a respirator and a whole bunch of other do dads and machines that were beeping and flashing.
Asuka fought with what energy she had to rush over to him, standing over him with an ache in her heart. Being as smart as she was, she looked over at the end of his bed, looking at the doctor's notes. -Ikari Shinji -14 -O - - -High fever : 104.6 -Nasal congestion, irregular pulse, light headedness - -Minor pneumonia - - -Tatsuhiko Junaki, M.D.
She looked over at Shinji again, setting the clipboard back on the bed and kneeling beside him. She rested her head on his almost dead right arm, letting out a sigh as she closed her eyes and fell asleep next to him.
"I'll be damned if you die before me.."
She pulled a chair over from the other side, still tugging her IV pole along with her and sat down at Shinji's side, holding his hand. She sat there, just talking to him. Not really any real conversation, just mindless babble.
About an hour later, a nurse came in to check on them.
"Excuse me miss, but I think you should get back to your bed."
Asuka stood, and placed both her hands on her hips, and stated, "I don't think that's an alternative. I'm perfectly fine. I can stand and walk on my own, and I have no desire to lie in a bed at this moment."
The nurse stared at her with a blank look on her face. It took the woman a few moments to snap outta her trance.
"If you don't get back to your bed miss, I'm going to have to call the orderlies to tie you down to your bed."
Asuka still stood there defiant as ever. She glanced at Shinji, then she looked at the nurse with daggers in her eyes.
A few moments later, Asuka found herself tied into her bed and heavily sedated. The only thing that the nurse had done was had the bed moved closer to Shinji's.
She moved her hand around in the restraints until she was able to hit the call button. The nurse walked in again.
"Yes???" she hissed. "What is it you want?"
Asuka half drugged, managed to get out, "Want to hold hands.... onegai...." then slipped into German.
The nurse looked at her. "Are you going to behave yourself?"
Asuka looked at her, her blue eyes soft and her drug induced mind clouded. She managed a nod to the woman.
"Okay I'll let your hands go, but you promise me, you'll stay in that bed." Asuka nodded again. Once her hand was free, she reached across the beds and grabbed Shinji's hand.
Before the nurse went to leave the room, Asuka called out to her....
"Call Ryouji Kaji.... or Katsuragi Misato.... they'll worry....." her words slurred from one to the next as she drifted into a drug induced sleep.
After his friendly visit with Yui, Jinnai stalked back into his apartment. Jinnai: Strange..... I know Katsuragi's at work but I don't hear those two idiots fighting tonight.....
Not caring to wonder about it, Jinnai went to sleep in his living room. Tomorrow, his new semester in school starts.......
Kaji: Hello? Eh? Understood. I'm on my way. Bye.
*Goes to the hospital*
Kaji: Konbanwa, I'm Ryouji Kaji. Are Shinji Ikari and Asuka Langley Soryuu here?
The nurse looks up at the young stranger and blushes, sitting straight up in her seat.
"Ohh.. umm.. yes they are.. sir.. I mean.. *AHEM* What I mean to say is that the young girl who was brought in had to be sedated. She couldn't keep herself away from the boy and we had to tie her down to the bed. She's doing fine, but I'm afraid the boy has a minor case of pneumonia, and it seems to be going up."
Kaji smirked for a moment at the young nurse but then set it aside, having a thought of Misato watching over him pop into his brain.
"Ahh I see.. figures that they'd have her pinned.. do you think the boy will pull through?"
"Hard to say really.. but.. if you do need some emotional support for your son.. I could always let you call me up and we could have dinner some time.. *wink*"
Kaji stood up straight and brushing off his shirt with a sigh.
"One thing must be made clear, miss.."
He leaned forward, staring her dead in the eyes with a scary glance.
"The boy is not my son.."
She blinked awkwardly as a sweatdrop formed atop her head. Kaji, however, stood straight again and was pointed down the right hallway by reception.
"I am also not available.. sorry, but my heart belongs to another.. and if I am not mistaken, I take this hallway to room 239, correct?"
Kaji walked away slowly to find his way into the double occupancy room. The nurse however leaned over her desk and watched as he walked away, stunned and confused by the heart throb.
"It was too good to be true.. -huff-"
Kaji knocks softly on the door to the hospital room. Not hearing any response, he slowly opens it and walks in to see Asuka holding Shinji's hand while tied down to the bed.
::Hehehe...Kind of ironic that Asuka would be the one to be tied down to the bed...:: he thought to himself.
Shinji stirred slightly, but didn't wake up.
"Well, I guess I'll sit and keep an eye on the two of them for a few minutes before checking on Katsuragi..."
Eventually, Asuka slowly opened one eye, then the other...
"Ughhhhhhnnnnn....." she moaned as she let the light slowly into her eyes, and slowly it registered in her brain.
Her mind was cloudy and foggy from the drugs. She had been drifting in and out of conscious thought for the past few hours. As her eyes adjusted to the room, her mind slowly followed. She automatically looked across her bed. Shinji was still sitting there, apparently he hadn't moved. His hand was still in hers. She tried to move, and then realized she was still attached to the bed. Taking her free hand, she unstrapped the other hand and sat up, slowly. Feeling very dizzy, she lowered her head into her hands. Her hair was sticking to her body as she sat up. The rain and sweat caused it to do so.
She looked through her fingers, noticing a figure in the corner of the room. Before her mind had a chance to register who it was she spoke.
"I'm sorry.... I know I wasn't supposed to take the restraints off my other hand......."
Finally her mind registered......
"Ah, well, good morning to you too, Asuka."
He walks over to the bed.
"Umm....would you mind explaining a bit about this to me... or do I already know what's going on?"
"This crazy baka was missing for hours, and I went to find him, since Misato was prolly too busy elsewhere.... I couldn't find him anywhere in the city and when I got back, he was at the gate to the apartment building....." she continued to explain the story to him.
As she did she reached down and undid the leather straps that restrained her feet to the bed. Stumbling off the bed and falling to the floor, she made her way over to Kaji and hugged him.
"And now you're here, so everything is sooooo much better."
She stood on her tiptoes to try and kiss him on the cheek, but he turned his head away and she toppled to the floor once more....
"Stupid tranquilizers...." she mumbled under her breath.
"Well, now that I know you two are just fine for the moment, I'd best find Katsuragi and let her know you're ok. I'll leave you here to keep an eye on Shinji and make sure he's doing well until someone else gets here, Ok?
He then pats Asuka on the back and starts to leave.
Kaji left the room with not even a backwards glance towards Asuka.... she crumpled up onto the floor...
Crawling back over to her bed she climbed back into it, and over onto Shinji's bed. She curled up next to him, and while placing her head onto his stomach, passed out as the drug continued to take it's toll on her system.