Shinji gazed down from the helicopter, admiring the grandness of the ocean's calm serenity. Over the course of the past month, he had witnessed horrors that would bring even the strongest of men to their knees. Yet here he sat, still alive, taking in the endless blue that blanketed the earth below him, finding a faint sense of ease brought upon him by doing so.
He found it amazing that something as tranquil as the ocean could even exist in this world. This was a world where Armageddon was always just around the corner, and death ratios of almost two percent were expected during Angel attacks. After all he had seen in the past few months, the peaceful sight of the ocean left the young Eva pilot nearly dumbfounded to see something so far away from death and pain.
"So Shinji," Misato's voice broke his trance. "are you excited about meeting the Second Child?" Her tone sounded almost playful.
Ikari rose his eyes to the lavender haired woman as she reared her head back towards him, whilst sitting next to the pilot in the front of the aircraft. "I guess." He replied before returning his view back towards the window.
"She's really cute, ya know." Shinji turned his head back just in time to catch his guardian giving him a wink.
"Misato!" He didn't mean to make an outburst, but he had never been very good at keeping himself composed when such subjects were brought up.
"Oh relax, will ya?" His guardian replied, reaching towards him and teasingly running her hand through his hair. "I swear, I've never met anyone as shy as you." She huffed.
Shinji slowly turned his gaze back to the window, catching a faint view of a Navy fleet off in the distance. They were close to arriving at their destination, it seemed. He began to wonder what exactly this Second Child was like. Was she quiet and seemingly apathetic like Rei? Was she reluctant and socially awkward like he was? Or was she something completely different?
"So…" He spoke up, breaking the silence between him and Misato. "What's her name?"
The lavender haired woman smirked. "Asuka, Asuka Langley Soryu." She answered. "But just pretend I didn't tell you."
Shinji furrowed his brow, and gave Misato a perplexed stare. "Why?" He asked, feeling that the latter part of her statement was just a little odd.
"Because, she…." Katsuragi stopped herself, collecting her thoughts and giving her time to plan her next few words carefully. "She likes her introductions."
"Oh." Shinji replied in near monotone before turning back to the window. "Okay."
As he returned to his trance, he could hear the playful antics between Toji and Kensuke going on behind him. The subject of conversation was hard for the young Eva pilot to keep up with, especially with his attention going in and out. One second it would be about 'revealing the truth', the next it would be something about Misato's skirt.
Their conversation started to slip away from his attention more and more as they grew closer to the armada scattered out amongst the deep blue. While he couldn't help but admire the immenseness of the enterprise class aircraft carrier their helicopter was slowly descending onto, his mind was filled with wonderment about this Second Child.
"Asuka." He whispered to himself as the helicopter began to land atop the carrier's helipad. He had to admit it was a very pretty name.
Once the aircraft landed, the group stepped out onto the deck of the ship. Shinji quickly took notice of how busy the vessel seemed to be. At least thirty or forty crew members were scattered all along the runway, checking jet fuel, guiding aircraft, and various other tasks that seemed to be of some importance, but due to his lack of knowledge on the workings of a naval vessel, he couldn't truly say one way or the other.
The group started to make their way down the deck as a gust of wind picked up from the sea breeze, sending Toji's hat flying off of his head. As Toji pursued it, Shinji began looking up and down the deck to see if he could spot out the Second Child. His eyes scanned all around him, but all he could see were countless men clad in green and the occasional bright orange, finding no sign of this fabled Second Child.
"Hey, get back here!" The lanky teen barked, closing in on the white hat. The gust finally let up, bringing his hat to a stop. Once within reach, he reached down to pick it up, only to be met by a red shoe stomping down on it, pinning it to the deck of the ship.
Toji stopped and looked up at the lean teenage girl standing atop his hat. She looked to be of European decent judging by her skin complexion. She also didn't seem to be dressed for being on the deck of an aircraft carrier. The beach perhaps, but not a military vessel. She wore a yellow sundress that went down to her knees, along with a pair of fairly nice red dress shoes, which Touji became quite familiar with as he attempted to remove his hat from under them.
"Well, hello Misato. How've you been?" She spoke, revealing her accent. Shinji wasn't exactly knowledgeable of eastern European languages or accents, but if he had to make a guess, he'd say Norwegian.
"Just fine." Katsuragi replied, eyeing the girl. "Goodness, you've grown some, haven't you?"
The girl replied, but Shinji didn't take notice of what she was saying, as he was too busy looking over her features. She certainly qualified as a redhead, but her hair was more auburn than anything. While her hair did stand out, along with her slender face and brilliant blue eyes, Shinji's own eyes were drawn to something else entirely. Atop her head sat two A10 clips, the very same clips that were used to pilot Eva Units. The young pilot tilted his head slightly, perplexed as to why she would be wearing them outside of her Evangelion.
"Shinji,' Misato spoke, bringing his attention towards her. "This is the designated pilot of EVA Unit 02. The Second Child…" The redhead cut her off.
"Asuka Langley Soryu."
Shinji eyed her, and her gaze seemed to be radiating in his direction as well, though not directly at him. She carried a smug look on her face. A look that spoke more so a feeling of superiority than confidence. A moment of silence emerged between the two pilots as the whistle of the wind picked up again, bringing in another gust.
It hit just right though, or just wrong, depending on the perspective. With a single large burst of wind, the bottom of Asuka's yellow sundress shot up over her waist, exposing her entire lower half for everyone on the deck to see.
Ikari had a hard time averting his eyes. Her legs were quite long and lean, and just the sight of panties sent his teenage hormones raging. Asuka either didn't notice that Shinji was staring, or she was just too focused on the fact that Toji was standing below her with his hand still tightly griped onto his hat.
With a squeal, she cursed at him in her native tongue and laid her right hand across his face, leaving a red mark behind. Shinji was able to pick up on a few of the words she used, quickly being able to identify her as German. Inwardly he let out a sigh of relief, knowing that he had spared himself from mistakenly referring to her as Norwegian in the future.
"What was that for!?" Toji snapped as he shot up, leaving his hat at the mercy of Asuka's foot.
"That's the viewing fee!" She hissed, placing her hands on her hips. "Quite a bargain, isn't it?"
The young man sneered at her, still flustered from the slap. "Oh yeah?" An evil grin crossed his face from ear to ear. "Well here's your change!" In one motion he grabbed his track pants and pulled them down to his ankles. Whether or not he meant to pull down his underwear as well, nobody was sure. But they went down along with his pants, leaving himself completely exposed. Asuka could see the immediate look of regret in his face as she stomped towards him, cursing him once again before laying another hard smack across his other cheek.
"So." She huffed, taking her attention away from Toji's marked face. "Which one of you is the famous Third Child?" She asked as she looked over at Shinji and Kensuke. Before she could fully judge the two, the horrible thought crossed her mind that the idiot boy she had just slapped was The Third Child. "Oh nein."
Misato smirked. "Don't worry, it's him." She nudged towards Shinji, who as of yet hadn't said a single word since stepping onto the ship.
Asuka made her way to the Third Child, not paying even the slightest bit of attention to Kensuke. Shinji watched as she grew closer and closer with each step, her ice blue eyes glairing into his hazel. The two locked their gazes with one another, Shinji's expression remaining blank while hers remained more curious than judgmental.
"Hmm." She took in a deep breath and exhaled before speaking. "Well he's not much to look at." Shinji's eyes narrowed, but he didn't say anything. The redhead could see the spark in his eyes, but was disappointed to hear no verbal response. "He's got a pretty weak spine too." She frowned.
"What's that supposed to mean!" He snapped.
The Second Child let a devilish grin escape her, happy to see there was at least a little venom in the snake she was poking. "Hey, Misato?" She turned her attention away from Shinji, causing his expression to grow even more agitated.
"Are we taking Unit 02 to NERV Headquarters or what?"
Katsuragi nodded. "Yeah, we just need the Captain to sign Unit 02 over to us."
Misato's words fell empty onto the young woman's ears, as she was still focused on Shinji. She was expecting for him to snap at her again, or maybe even yell and scream at her. However, nothing came to be. All he did was keep a stern glare zeroed in on her. She figured either he was spineless or he was just a hard tower to topple. Either way, she couldn't help but find him at the very least a little bit interesting, albeit quite boring.
Negotiations didn't seem to be going as smoothly as expected. Misato urged once more for the Captain to sign over the Eva Unit so they could get it to NERV HQ as soon as possible, however the stubborn, elderly man was having none of it.
"Captain Katsuragi," The plump man huffed. "We were tasked by the Third Branch in Germany to deliver this Eva Unit to Japan. We will not be handing it over until we arrive out our destination."
Misato nodded and folded the release forms under her right arm. "I understand." She said with a smile. "However, I should remind you that in the state of an emergency, NERV's military authority overrides your own."
The Captain pursed his lips and snarled under his breath. Shinji was slightly surprised by Misato's ruthlessness in terms of diplomacy. He expected something like this from Ritsuko, but Misato? He just didn't think she had enough of a mean streak in her to do something like that.
"Well," A voice spoke up from the entrance to the bridge. "you're just as confident as always."
The group turned towards the door, catching a tall and slender man in a dress shirt and tie entering the bridge. His hair went almost halfway down his back and was tied into a ponytail. He had strong facial features, a somewhat prominent jaw, and carried nearly all of the features of a prototypical pretty boy, save for the five o' clock shadow.
"Kaji!" Asuka squealed at the top of her lungs as she waved at the man entering the room. Kaji had been her mentor since she was only eight years old, and for years she had always carried a schoolgirl crush for him. Although he found it flattering at first, Kaji had begun to wish that she'd grow out of it.
Misato felt a chill run down her spine upon hearing the name. She didn't want to turn, but by the forces of which she couldn't fully comprehend, she was unable to stop herself from turning around. She felt a pit in her stomach upon seeing the man, like she wanted to throw up. However judging by Kaji's expression, his feelings about seeing her were the exact opposite.
"It's good to see you again, Misato." The handsome man greeted with a sly wink, ignoring the Fleet Captain's request for him to leave the bridge.
"Sorry to disappoint you, but I'm here on official NERV business." She replied flatly.
"Well I expected as mu-" Before he could get another word out, the young German girl leapt onto him, tightly latching her arms around him.
"Kaji!" She screamed in excitement yet again. "I didn't expect to see you here!" Though she couldn't see it, Kaji awkwardly began scratching the back of his head, trying to brush off the teenager. "I thought you left already?"
"Well…" After another light push, the girl's arms loosened and she stepped back. "I heard Misat.." He stopped himself. "Excuse me, Captain Katsuragi was on board, so I just had to come and see her."
Asuka's face started to turn a little pouty at his words, causing Shinji to let out a light chuckle. However, his laughter was quickly met by her venomous glare, bringing him to silence.
Misato rolled her eyes as Kaji tapped her foot from under the table with his own. At first she thought having to wait a day for the carrier to arrive in Japan was going to be nothing more than an inconvenience. Now that Kaji was here though, it had become a dreaded waiting game.
Asuka was sitting next to him, but had quickly come to realize that Kaji was not paying attention to her, despite her best efforts to gain it. She looked around the table, trying to find something to bide her time. Misato was too busy ignoring Kaji, and she felt that the two boys sitting across from her were far too idiotic to even attempt to humor her. That just left the Third Child sitting next to her.
She looked over him as he ate his lunch, trying to see what it was that was so special about him. He was scrawny, radiated an aura of social awkwardness, and looked to be the living personification of the word 'strange'. However, he did seem to be more intelligent than the other two boys, and Asuka didn't feel like listening to Kaji swoon over Misato, so her options were pretty limited.
"So, Third Child," She spoke, still refusing to call him by his name. He had yet to earn that right with her. "why are you so quiet?" She asked as he brought his eyes up to her. "I mean if you've actually fought Angels, shouldn't you have a bunch of amazing stories you'd want to tell a pretty girl like me?"
Shinji remained quiet, trying to gauge her. Was she hitting on him? No, not a chance. If anything she was probably making fun of him. Although there was perhaps a small possibility that she was just genuinely interested in hearing what he had to say. Though that seemed unlikely, the young Eva pilot settled on that.
"Well," He started. "it's kinda scary to fight an Angel, honestly.
Asuka snickered. "Really?" Her tone was none too subtle with her distaste. "You're inside of an Evangelion, the greatest technological marvel in history, and you're scared of a few Angels? What type of Eva pilot are you?!"
The redhead let a sly smile cross her face. There was that hiss again. Maybe this snake could bite.
"You asked what its like fighting Angels, and I answered you. I wasn't looking to get berated for it!"
"You're right." She replied with a shrug. "I guess I should've expected an answer like that from a sub-par pilot like yourself." She braced herself for the bite. She knew if she hit him in the pride then he'd have to strike. Alas, there was no retort, no lash, nothing.
She didn't know why she found herself so disappointed. She should've expected the same thing to happen here as what happened on the deck. He may have seemed like someone who would have a mean streak hidden away, but it didn't seem that there were any fangs to hold his venom.
"So, Shinji," Kaji's spoke in his direction, seeing that him and Asuka were done talking.
"You're living with Misato, right?"
Misato narrowed her eyes at Kaji, wondering where he was going with this.
"Yeah." Shinji answered.
"Then tell me something." The older man made a slight grin. "Is she still wild in bed?"
Everyone sitting at the table went wide-eyed at the question, especially Misato. Asuka also seemed to be quite repulsed by the statement, feeling sick over the idea of her crush sleeping with another woman besides herself.
"What are you implying by that!?" Misato exclaimed, slamming her hands onto the table, causing all of the plates and cups to shake.
Kaji smirked, not even looking Misato in the eyes. "I guess not. Huh, Shinji?"
The teen took a second to collect himself, brushing off Kaji's comment from before. "I guess not." He answered. "But um… How do you know my name?"
"Everyone knows your name, Shinji." He replied, subconsciously tapping his index finger on the table. "You're pretty popular in the defense business, ya know."
Shinji raised an eyebrow, genuinely surprised by his words. "I… I am?"
"Of course you are. You're the famous Third Child. The one who piloted an Eva and killed an Angel on your first mission with absolutely no training whatsoever."
Shinji couldn't help but chuckle and scratch the back of his head, seeming almost embarrassed by the shower of compliments.
Asuka began narrowing her eyes and furrowing her brow. She had finally figured out why he was so quiet and would hardly ever respond to her teases. Why she could try to press his buttons, and the best reaction she'd ever get from him would be nothing more than a momentary snap.
He was modest.
"It was all luck, really."
She could feel her fist clench. Modest people irritated her. They carried so much potential, yet always strayed away from using it to their full abilities. Here this kid was with not one, not two, but three confirmed Angel kills under his belt, and all he could do is claim it was luck?
She felt like she wanted to puke.
As Kaji stood up from the table, she felt a sense of relief fill her. If she had to sit next to Shinji any longer, then she might've started to strangle him. As Kaji bid his adieu to the group, she shot up from her seat without a word, and followed him out the door.
Asuka leaned against the railing of the ship, letting her feet dangle over the edge as she held herself up on the rails while Kaji sat down on the stairs, smoking a cigarette. Occasionally he would glance over at the young girl to make sure she wasn't about to fall over the railing, but found that she was more than capable of keeping her balance.
"So what do you think of Shinji?" He asked, taking a puff out of his nearly finished cigarette.
The redhead scoffed out of sheer gut reaction. "He's so boring."
The older gentlemen made a slight grin, looking over at the girl. "Oh is that so?"
"Yeah." She sighed. "He's got the personality of a brick."
Kaji put out his cigarette out on the metal steps, twisting it until the red tip was extinguished. "I wouldn't go that far." He chuckled. "He may be on the quiet side, but he wasn't raised to be a pilot like you were. This entire world is alien to him. I'd be surprised if he wasn't at least little bit shy."
Asuka rolled her eyes. "I just better not have to baby him."
She was met by a laugh from Kaji. "I don't think you'll have to worry about that."
She stopped swinging her feet from the side of the ship, and planted them on the deck, throwing an inquisitive stare in her former guardian's direction. "Why's that?"
"During his first mission he was able to reach a synch ratio of forty percent without a plugsuit or prior training."
"Mein Gott!" Her sapphire eyes went wide with shock. "You're lying!"
"I cross my heart." He smiled. "I can show you the reports if you don't believe me."
Asuka was finding more and more reasons to hate the Third Child. He was boring, modest, and in terms of statistics a much better pilot than her. She wasn't able to reach a synch rate of forty percent until after three months of training, but he was able to reach it just by sitting in the cockpit? It wasn't just that he had to find a way to grate every single one of her pet peeves, but he also had to hit her in the pride as well.
After sitting in silence for a brief moment, Asuka pealed herself away from the rail and began making her way into the ship.
"Where're you heading to?" Kaji asked, whilst remaining seated on the step.
"To show that Third Child what a real Eva is!" Kaji could feel the heat radiate from her words. The only time she got like this was when she had something to prove, and the only time she would ever try to prove something to someone was when she was seeking their praise. Though she always tried to present herself with an overtly independent front, Kaji had come to learn that the redhead relished in commendation from her peers, whether she realized it or not.
Shinji leaned back against the railing of the escalator as they ascended upwards towards the guest barracks. Kensuke had yet to put down his camera, taping anything and everything around him, and Toji had yet to break his sight from Misato's ass which was perfectly at eyelevel with the teenager who stood a few steps down from her. This all went completely unnoticed by Captain Katsuragi though, as she was far too busy venting her frustration about the long haired man and his blunt nature.
"Can you believe that jerk?!" She snarled.
"Sure can't." Shinji replied.
"I mean what type of person brings up something like that in front of everyone?! Especially a group of children?! God, he infuriates me!"
"Sometimes I just want to grab him by his throat, and just strangle him!" The lavender haired woman simulated the motion as she choked the air in front of her.
"Are you even listening to me?!"
"Just crazy. Hu…" Shinji stopped himself and went wide eyed as he met with his guardian's glare. "Sorry, Misato. I… I…"
He expected for Katsuragi to begin to unleash her fury on him, but instead her livid expression seemed to slowly morph into that of a school girl who just learned a big secret. "Oh, I know what it is." Shinji didn't like the sound of her overly cutesy tone. "You're thinking about Asuka, aren't you?" She giggled as she pointed a finger at him teasingly.
"Wha…" He stopped himself, trying to bounce back with a retort. "No!" He yelped meekly, finding the faintness of heat begin to form in his cheeks.
"Uh huh." She winked and nudged her elbow up against him. "Sure you're not."
Shinji rolled his eyes. "It's not like that."
"Oh, then what is it then?"
She was right in the assumption that Shinji was thinking about the loud mouthed Second Child. However her assumption that he was infatuated by her couldn't have been any farther from the truth. "She's well…" He stopped, knowing he was about to call her something that would contradict his soft demeanor. "She's really irritable."
"But at least she talked to you."
The young pilot cocked his head and raised an eyebrow. "So?"
"She doesn't ever start a conversation with someone unless she at least tolerates them. She talked to you not twenty minutes after meeting you, so it looks like she's taken quite a liking to you already!"
"Really?" He replied. "Could of fooled me."
"Hey, Third Child!" Speak of the devil and he shall appear. Shinji looked up at the top of the escalator to see that the redheaded German girl was standing at the top of the escalator, glairing down at him with beaming blue eyes that pierced through his very soul. "You're coming with me!"
Without the slightest bit of delay, Shinji was met by 'Oooo's' from Toji and Kensuke. He also heard Toji make a snide comment, but he didn't catch exactly what it was. Even Misato was giggling under her breath in a manner that said 'I told you so'.
"Uh…" Shinji couldn't fully respond by the time She snagged his hand and pulled him along with her down the hallway in the opposite direction of the barracks. The young pilot looked back to see the group waving at him and making mocking faces at him as they grew farther and farther away from him. He wanted to escape her grasp and go with them, but it looked like he didn't have much of a choice in the matter. "Okay."
"So I heard you have a synch ratio of forty percent." Her tone was more accusatory than complimentary.
"Actually," Before he corrected her, she turned her head towards him with a stern expression, as if daring him to tell her it was higher. Despite his gut feeling that he should just remain quiet, he corrected her anyways. "that was my initial score. Now its around fifty percent." If she was going to press his buttons, he didn't see a reason why he couldn't press hers as well.
"Hmph." Asuka turned her head back. "That's okay, I guess." She said in a snooty tone. "Mine is fifty-five percent." After her little boast, She looked down and saw that her hand was still wrapped around his. "Hey! Let go of me you pervert!" She snarled, pulling her hand away from him.
"You're the one who grabbed it!"
"And you're the one who hung on!"
Shinji tried to comprehend her behavior, but found that he was just getting a headache from trying to understand her. "You know what? I'm just going to the barracks." He said as he turned around, heading down towards the other end of the hallway, leaving Asuka to stand by herself with a near dumbfounded expression on her face.
"No, wait!" She screamed, chasing after him.
The teen turned back around to see the girl looking at him with near pleading eyes. He found himself a bit taken back by the sudden jarring change in personality. Within quite literally the blink of an eye she went from being overly hostile and condescending to nearly saddened and pleading.
Shinji knew going with her had to be a bad idea. However his teenage hormones let her pretty face and sad eyes get the better of him. "Fine." He sighed. "But can you quit being so mean?"
"Of course." She replied near happily. "How about we just start fresh?"
"Uh… Sure." He shrugged. "I guess?"
"Good!" The redhead seemed to be considerably simmered down compared to earlier. "I'm Asuka, Asuka Langley Soryu. Charmed, huh?" She extended her hand, as though to make a peace offering.
"I'm Shinji. Shinji Ikari." He spoke as he also extended his hand as well, shaking hers.
"Nice to meet you, Third Chi-… I mean, Shinji." Ikari raised his brow. He couldn't believe that he was semi-flattered just because she actually referred to him by his name. "I'll lead the way." Asuka finished as she turned around and continued down the hall, Shinji following closely behind her.
'Well, she didn't lie.' Shinji thought. Asuka had indeed refrained from being overly hostile and condescending, and was now choosing to be overly passive aggressive and condescending instead. It seemed to be a step in the right direction at least, though he didn't expect for her demeanor to change much more for the better anytime soon.
The entire helicopter ride to the transport vessel was filled with her spouting out technical terms and dropping all sorts of knowledge about how Germany constructed a large portion of the ships in the fleet, and how they were so much better than any other Navy fleet because of it.
Once they touched down onto the transport vessel, Shinji thought about asking once again what it was she was taking him to see, but he figured her answer would probably be the same as before "You'll see when we get there, idiot."
Without a doubt this girl was beyond confusing. If anything, she was downright mind boggling. It seemed like she was trying to be nice to him, but whenever he said anything, she would almost always reply with an offhanded remark that was either demeaning or meant to irritate him.
"I should've gone back to the barracks." He whispered to himself.
"What was that?" Asuka asked as she headed towards a very large tarp atop the deck.
"Nothing." He sighed
The Second Child shrugged, then grasped onto the tarp. "Well anyways, take a look at this!" As she pulled a piece of the tarp back, Shinji crouched down and looked inside.
"Huh…" He let out. "I didn't know they made them in that color."
A smirk crossed Asuka's face. "That's not all that's different about it." She lifted the tarp a little more and entered, waving for Shinji to follow her inside.
Under the tarp was a red forty meter humanoid robot laying down inside of a giant pool. Though it was similar in design to Shinji's Eva Unit, there were quite a few differences in ascetics besides just the color. The biggest being in the facial design. Unit 01's head was much more angular and jagged, almost giving it a semi-reptilian look . Unit 02's was much more humanoid and round in shape, though it sported four eyes instead of two, making it look more alien than human
As Shinji observed the Evangelion, he could hear the sound of grunting coming from Asuka. He looked up and saw that she was beginning to climb atop the mech, struggling to climb up it due to her dress proving to be a poor clothing choice for such activities.
"What're you doing?" Shinji asked, cocking his head.
"Eva…" She groaned as she pulled herself atop of the robot's chest, standing triumphantly over Shinji. "Eva Unit 00 and 01 are nothing more than mere beta tests compared to this." She stopped for a second to catch her breath. "As seen by such high synch scores with inexperienced pilots like you." Shinji wanted to say something, but instead let her continue on her little rant. He wasn't sure why though, maybe it was because he found her exuberance to be cute in a way. "However, Unit 02 is different. This is a true Evangelion! The first on Earth built for actual combat!"
"Is it now?" Shinji scanned his eyes up and down the mech. It was impressive, but he couldn't quite tell what was so special about it compared to Unit 00 and 01.
Before he could say anything else though, a sudden tremble shot across the boat, causing Shinji and Asuka to nearly lose their footing on the already shaky waters the Eva was floating in.
"Ah!" Asuka yelped. "What was that?" As the trembling continued, she realized that she'd trip if she stayed atop the crimson machine any longer, prompting her to quickly slide down the side of its slick metal frame, landing square in front of Shinji.
"I don't know." He replied. "Let's go check it out."
The two teens dashed out from under the tarp, and leaned against the railing of the ship. Off in the distance a large wave seemed to be rushing towards a nearby Destroyer. It seemed to be traveling in a direct path, going against the natural flow of the current, making it look almost as if a giant fish were coursing through the water.
"Look!" Asuka exclaimed as the wave made contact with the large ship, causing it to capsize as its hull was severely ripped from the belly. The wave then traversed to another nearby ship, doing the very same to it as well.
"It can't be!" Shinji could feel his heart begin to race. "It's an Angel!"
Asuka's heart began to race as well, though for a completely different reason. "An Angel? A real one?" She could feel a presence behind her under the tarp, almost as if Unit 02 was beckoning her. Now was her chance. Not only to take down her first Angel, but a chance to show off her piloting skills to the 'famous' Third Child. "Wunderbar."
Shinji leaned his head against the wall as he waited for Asuka to change into her plugsuit. He knew this was going to be a bad idea, but he also knew that there was no other way to fight the Angel. He could hear rustling going on underneath him. He didn't have to guess to know what it was. It was the redhead fighting to get her suit on. He was more than familiar with how difficult those things could be to put on, especially in a high stress situation.
It had been a while though, so he slowly got up and peaked his head around the stairwell to see how progress was going. However he quickly realized he shouldn't have done that when he was met by Asuka's verbal assault. Fortunately she yelled at him in German. At least then he couldn't tell exactly what foul things she was calling him.
After another thirty seconds or so, the redhead finally emerged from underneath. As soon as Shinji saw her, he had to quickly avert his eyes to hide his blush. Her red plugsuit hugged every single curve on her body. He almost completely forgot about how ugly her temperament was after getting lost in her lean form.
At first she glared at him, still angry about him peeping on her, but she quickly let it go, realizing that she had bigger things to worry about.. "C'mon, let's go!"
Shinji nodded and followed her back to the Eva. As they approached the cockpit, Asuka turned around and handed him what looked to be a spare plugsuit. Shinji looked up at her in confusion, unsure as to what exactly she wanted him to do with it.
"Well, put it on!" She snapped.
"Don't just stand there! Get moving!"
The boy looked down at the suit he was holding. It was quite clearly designed specifically for Asuka's body type, or at the very least that of a young female. He tried to protest, but he was met by another barrage of Asuka cursing at him in her native tongue.
"Okay, okay!" He replied as he hurried around a corner to quickly change. As he fought to put on the unfitting plugsuit, he couldn't help but wonder why she wanted him to tag along with her, and even questioned why he was following her commands like an obedient puppy in the first place.
"Hurry up!" She barked.
Once on, he hit a button on the wrist, expelling all excess air in the suit, causing it to retract. The design of the chest cavities left a bit of a gap between his torso and the suit, while the lack thereof of a cavity in the groin area caused him to wince in pain as it closed in.
Embarrassed, The pilot stepped out from around the corner, expecting to be met by a wall of laughter from Asuka. Surprisingly enough though, she remained serious and if anything paid absolutely no mind to his suit.
"So what exactly do I need the plugsuit for?" He asked, trying to hide the quite noticeable bulge in his suit.
"Are you dense?!" Asuka snapped. "We're going to pilot Unit 02 and kill that Angel!"
"We?" He raised an eyebrow. "As in both of us?"
"Duh!" The Second Child rolled her eyes, hitting the switch to open up the Entry Plug. As she entered the Eva, Shinji followed closely behind. "Get ready for an amazing display of piloting." She boasted. "Just don't bug me, okay?" The Entry Plug sealed shut, and a series of lights began to flicker around the two while Asuka commenced with the startup process. "LCL Füllung. Anfang der Bewegung. Bestätigt. Anfang des Nervenanschlusses. Bestätigt. Auslöses von Links-kleidung. Bestätigt. Synchro-start!" The lights around the two began to flicker again for a moment before a red light came onto the screen reading 'FEHLER' while a low beep rang with the blinking message.
"It's a program error!" Shinji exclaimed.
"It's thought noise." Asuka huffed. "I told you not to disturb me!"
"B..but what did I do?"
"You're thinking in Japanese, aren't you?" The redhead glared at him. "If you have to think, can't you at least do it in German?!" Before Shinji could embarrass himself by even attempting such an impossible task, she let out a sigh. "Forget it. Switch language to Japanese." The lights around the two readjusted once more, this time appropriately and without an error message. "Evangelion Unit, go!"
"Dear God!" The Captain's eyes went wide. "Evangelion Unit 02 is activating!"
Katsuragi's eyes went wide as well, but her expression was vastly different than his. "Yes! Go Asuka, go!"
The Captain quickly picked up the radio, not about to allow for his cargo to place itself in danger. "Pilot of Unit 02, I demand that you shut down that Eva Unit right now!"
Misato snagged the microphone out of his hand. "Ignore that command, Asuka! Kill that Angel!"
Aboard Unit 02, Asuka couldn't help but smirk at Misato as she brought the Eva to life. The red mech raised itself up, pulling the tarp along with it. As it stood, the transport vessel began to waver under the weight of the towering crimson Evangelion Unit.
"Careful Asuka." Shinji murmured. "If this thing falls into the water, we're done for." He then looked over at the countdown timer for the battery life. "And we only have a minute before shutdown!"
"I know that!" She snapped. "Stupid Shinji."
"I remember seeing an umbilical cable on the aircraft carrier, but how are we going to get there?"
"Simple." The redhead made a devilish grin. "Like hopscotch."
"Hopsco-" Before Shinji could get the words out of his mouth, the Eva leapt forward, the tarp still wrapped around it like a cloak. As soon as it left the deck of the ship, the raging wave crashed into the transport vessel, sinking it instantly.
"Glad you came aboard with me now?" Asuka spoke as the Unit planted its feet atop a small Destroyer, causing the wooden deck to crack, and the boat to tilt side to side. With another great leap, the tarp flew off, exposing the entire Eva as it soared across the sky, hopping from ship to ship as it made its way towards the carrier.
"Look out!" Shinji yelped, pointing towards the small ship Unit 02 was about to land on. Asuka looked down and saw that the rushing wave was about to crash into the ship before she could land on it. As the wave ripped the boat in half down the middle, Asuka tried to plant the mech's feet onto both chunks of the ship, using them to spring herself onto the next one.
The young pilot of Unit 01 hated to admit it, but her skills were exceptional . No, phenomenal. She and Unit 02 moved as if one, their movements fluid and precise as she planted her feet on each ship. However as the timer started to reach the last twenty seconds, Shinji was unsure if they could make it to the carrier in time.
"Hang on!" She growled as her hands tightened on the controls. "Here we go!" With one large pounce from a cargo ship, the Eva ripped across the sky, traveling at least four hundred meters. "This is gonna be close!" Asuka bit down on her lower lip, watching Unit 02's feet come closer and closer to the carrier. As the Unit came crashing down, its giant red feet slammed square onto the deck with only a few seconds remaining on the battery. Upon landing, the giant ship tilted to the side, causing for most of the jets onboard to fall into the ocean. The Captain grimaced each time one of the expensive pieces of aircraft fell into the water, but even so, all of their value combined was like change in the jar compared to Unit 02.
"Whew." Shinji sighed in relief. "That was close."
"It's not over yet." She said calmly as the redhead reached for the cable that had been readied for her. "Switching to external power." She announced as the plug latched into place on the Eva's back. Once in, she looked out towards the sea, catching sight of the wave charging closer to the aircraft carrier.
"How are we going to fight it?" Shinji asked as he leaned forward. "We don't have any guns."
"The progressive knife should do just fine." With that, the left shoulder pylon opened up to reveal the state-of-the-art blade. Unit 02 reached up and brandished the knife as it readied for the incoming opponent.
The Angel began to surface, exposing its upper half to them. It looked something along the lines of a twisted fusion of a whale and a manta-ray, only bigger. Once it was within a close proximity of the ship, it shot out of the water, revealing itself to be roughly the same length of the carrier as it slammed its gargantuan body onto the deck.
The monster landed hard, forcing Asuka to drop the knife, slicing a Su-33 in half. She knew that her only way to stop it now was to hold it in place on the ship where she could at least fight it with a terrain advantage.
However its enormous size made it near impossible to hold as it squirmed atop the deck, pushing Unit 02 closer and closer to the edge. With one more forceful ram from the Angel, Unit 02's feet slid back to an edge where the supporting was not quite as strong, causing it to collapse the second the Eva's weight was put on it.
Keeping her grip tight, Asuka dragged the giant fish down with her into the ocean. However in hindsight this was not the best idea, because now they were fighting it in its own territory. The massive Angel began rushing through the colossally deep waters of the ocean, dragging Asuka and Shinji into a long forgotten city that had been sunken by Second Impact.
The umbilical cable stayed latched onto the Eva, causing the line on the ship to reel out like a fishing rod as the Angel continued in its violent struggle to get Unit 02 off of it. It ripped through building after building, trying its best to remove the crimson mech, however its grip remained strong.
"Asuka, you're about to run out of cable!" Misato's voice filled the Entry Plug. "Brace for impact!" A few seconds went by as the Angel continued on its vicious struggle, then with one violent snag, the cable line ran out, jerking Unit 02 back and forcing it to loosen its grip on the monster.
"Damn!" Asuka growled. "I can't move!"
"That's because we're using B-Type Equipment!" Shinji reminded. "We can't move underwater!"
"Well then do something!" She barked.
"Me?" He leaned forward, trying to get a good look at the Angel as it began to turn around and swim towards the sunken Eva. "You're the one who wanted to fight this thing in the ocean!"
"Well you're the famous Third Child!" She snapped. "So hurry up and do someth-…" She stopped as she looked down to realize that he was leaning over her lap. "Get off of me, you pervert!"
The Angel started to pick up speed, growing closer as it opened its wide jaws, revealing a red orb inside of its mouth, its core. Shinji and Asuka gasped as its massive teeth clamped down onto Unit 02, pinning the upper torso inside of its mouth.
"What're we going to do?!" Shinji exclaimed as Asuka made a desperate struggle to pry open the monster's jaws. It's strength was just too much though. Its great maw remained steadily sealed and showed no signs of giving way.
"Asuka! Shinji!" Misato's voice rang through the plug once more. "I've got an idea, but you need to get its mouth open!"
"Easier said than done, Misato!" The feisty redhead shouted as she jerked at the controls once more.
"Well get Shinji to help." She suggested. "We're going to reel you in now, so just get those Jaws open and we'll take care of the rest!" Once the radio cut off, Asuka looked over at the pilot of Unit 01.
"Well don't just stand there, take the controls!" She barked as she pulled back on the handles, opening them up and folding them back to allow her a little more leverage. Shinji nodded and leaned over her lap once again as he took both controls in hand.
Once the cable began reeling back, Unit 02 was able to plant its feet onto the lip of the Angel, giving it even more leverage. However it was still proving to be insufficient. "Damn it!" Shinji roared, gritting his teeth as he tried pulling back on the controls. "It's not budging!"
"You guys have got to get it open, now!" Misato shouted over the radio.
"We're working on it!" Asuka snapped. It was impossible for either of them to get the grip they needed with two hands on each lever, but individually they'd never have enough strength to pry open the great maw. "Damn you, just open!" The redhead exclaimed as she readjusted her hands on the levers. She placed her hands over Shinji's locking her fingers between his, and pulled as hard as she could.
Then like a godsend, the levers moved back.
Unit 02's eyes lit up as it started to pull apart the great mouth of the beast, exposing its core to the dangers that awaited it. Once its jaws were fully pried open, two sunken Destroyers zoomed by Unit 02. Each one smashing the Angel's teeth into bits as they worked their way into its mouth. Followed by this was a loud bang as their cannons fired inside its mouth, destroying the core inside.
"Oh my Go- Before Asuka could get the words out of her mouth, the explosion inside of the Angel forced its body to expand and stretch more and more until it exploded into a thunderous burst. Unit 02 flew back from the force of the explosion, sending it rocketing to the surface, and detaching it from the umbilical cable. Using the last bit of power it had, Unit 02 landed hard atop the deck of the carrier, managing to stabilize itself before running out of battery power and shutting down.
"Shiesse!" Asuka exhaled as the LCL drained from the pod. "Not bad… for a… amateur pilot." She praised between breaths.
"Not bad… for a…"
"Don't even think… about saying something… you'll regret." She could barely get the last few words out.
Shinji couldn't protest,. He was just too exhausted to. Instead he simply gave her a nod, and then fell limp in her lap.
"Hey!" She yelled. "Get… off of…." She took in another breath, finding she didn't have enough energy to even bother with her insistent yelling. "Ya know what? Fine. Just stay there. I don't care" After taking in a few more deep breaths, she fell back into her seat and went limp as well.
The school bell rang as Shinji opened the door to the classroom. It was his first day back since him and Asuka killed the Angel, however it felt like it had been much longer. He hadn't been able to see the fiery redheaded pilot since making landfall, but he found that may have been for the better. She may not have been as bad as he had initially thought, but she was still far too overly hostile for his taste.
"Hey Shinji!" Toji called as he entered the classroom. "What's going on?"
"Oh, hey Toji." He replied as he approached him and Kensuke.
"Have you seen what's her face since we got back?"
Shinji shook his head as he placed his class materials on his desk. "Can't say I have."
"Good." His tone was harsh. "She may have looked cute, but she was a total bitch.
Kensuke shrugged. "Well at least we won't have to see her again, so you can probably let it go."
"Yeah," he huffed. "But Mr. Big Shot here has to work with her everyday." He said as he motioned towards Shinji. "Man do I feel sorry for you."
Speak of the devil, and he shall appear.
The classroom door opened up as a student walked in. The three directed their eyes towards the door, and upon laying their eyes on her, they all felt a pit form in their stomach. There she stood at the chalkboard, writing out her full name in perfect cursive. She turned around, revealing her slender face and her auburn hair. From atop her head, two red A10 clips could be seen peaking out, giving her an even more distinguishable look.
"No way." Shinji muttered as she introduced herself to the class.
"I'm Asuka." She spoke. "Asuka Langley Soryu. Charmed, huh?"