O.K. let me start off by saying that while I have done a couple of fanfics before, this is my first Eva fic. It also has the potential to be one of the deepest (depending on the feedback). Anyway, I hope you enjoy this little piece.

DISCLAIMER: Needless to say, I don't own Neon Genesis Evangelion or any of it's characters. I wish that I did 'cause then I'd be filthy rich and I wouldn't be struggling to pay my way through university. No, I'm afraid that Evangelion belongs to GAINAX.

Coming closer, a Neon Genesis Evangelion fanfiction by Richard Abraham.

If I do see you again, I'll say the words I could not say 8 years ago.

Misato collapsed, the kitchen table providing the support her body could not:

"Fool." She sobbed, "You were always such a fool."

Finally, she let her grief overtake her and she completely surrendered to the sobs now wracking her body.

Inside his bedroom, Shinji stirred from his pondering as he heard something, despite the soft classical music being played directly into his ears via his S-Dat player. Removing the ear buds in order to more clearly investigate the strange sounds, Shinji was surprised to hear muffled sobs through his room door.

Deciding to investigate the sounds further, Shinji ended up by the partition leading into the kitchen. Peeking in, Shinji was shocked to see the form of his guardian, obviously the source of the crying, with her head buried in her arms and her entire body shaking.

For a moment, Shinji debated with himself over what he should do. After a moment of indecision, he started to head back into his room.

Something stopped him in his tracks though. For a full minute, he stood there silently, listening to Misato's sobs. Was he doing the right thing? Probably not. Then again, what could he possibly do? He was just a child. However, that didn't necessarily mean that running away was the right thing, no matter how much he wanted to.

Misato had never run away from him when he was in need. In fact, he remembered in great detail the day when his guardian had tried to stop him from leaving NERV, after the fourth angel's attack. That had been the day when he realised just where his home now was.

It didn't change the fact that there was likely nothing he could do to help anyway. He started to move again, still heading for his bedroom. This time, however, his steps were hesitant, his conscience weighed down with guilt.

Again Shinji stopped, listening to the sounds of grief coming from the kitchen. He cared deeply for Misato, though he had trouble expressing it, and he knew that she cared for him too. One of his most treasured memories of his time here was the feeling of Misato's warmth, as she cried in relief and joy after he had been recovered from the 12th angel.

Without fully being conscious of the movement, Shinji found himself looking into the kitchen again. Could he really justify running away again? No, not really. He had to do something surely?

He took a deep breath, gritted his teeth and stepped into the kitchen. Misato didn't even notice the new arrival, her grief a blanket, dampening her senses. Shinji stood there hesitating. Now that he was here, he had no real idea what he should do. Before him was the sobbing figure of the woman who had taken him under her wing those many months ago. The woman who teased him when they were at home, but who would worry for him while he was fighting. The woman who had cried for him when she thought him lost.

The memory of Misato's warmth while she held him after the twelfth provided inspiration on a possible course of action. It also made him extremely nervous, as he had never initiated such intimate contact with anybody before. However, more and more, her sobs were affecting him, and his resolve firmed.

He manoeuvred behind her and dropped to his knees silently. His hands trembled slightly as he reached for her. The feather light touch of his hands on her shoulders prompted a tensing of the muscles that lay beneath them. After a moment, the tension vanished. It took another full minute for Shinji to gather his resolve and slowly, hesitantly wrap his still-trembling arms around her. It was an embrace meant to reassure, wordlessly saying that he was there for her, even if he didn't know what had happened to her.

During this entire exchange, Misato's crying had never eased. Eventually she brought up her hands to cover Shinji's own where they were clasped in front of her. Shinji absently noted that he was no longer trembling. He gently rested the side of his face on her back, and took note of the fact that, while still crying, she was not shaking anymore.

They stayed like that for over an hour. There were no words spoken. None were needed. At that moment in time, all that was needed was contained within the embrace joining the two souls in the room.

- Fin -

Authors notes

I can't believe I've done another redraft. This is the third time I've posted this story, each time slightly modified. Heck, I think that, in total, this is the 5th incarnation of the story.

Don't worry though I've just corrected a few of the niggling small mistakes that were bugging me.

I've also done the same thing for chapter two as a precursor for the release of chapter three (which is done but still going through debugging).