Neon Genesis Evangelion: Legacy
Episode I: The Phantom Menace

Chapter 9 – What is Love?
March 1998 – Undisclosed Location

In a dark room, those familiar 12 monoliths hummed to life, with their large lettering beginning to glow and casting a mechanical glow in the dark room.

'SEELE 01' spoke first, as always. "Gentleman, I believe some of you have a report to share with the rest of the group."

"Yes, news from Antarctica, there is some sort of unidentified energy signal coming from deep within the discovered cavern." 'SEELE 03' stated. "Perhaps it is the lifeform mentioned in the apocrypha."

"It must be, as what is written in the apocrypha must be taken as true." 'SEELE 11' said rather enthusiastically. Many of the monoliths began to voice their opinions all at once.

"SILENCE!" 'SEELE 04' said, bringing order back to the meeting. "Whether it is the apocrypha being or not, it must be investigated."

"That is correct." 'SEELE 01' spoke again. "Now there is one other report correct?"

"Incorrect, there are two additional reports to discuss." 'SEELE 05' said this time. "The first is a discovery in Hakone, Japan. There is a second cavern similar to what was found in Antarctica. We are awaiting funds to continue with further analysis."

"No, the analysis will wait until the Katsuragi expedition is finished in Antarctica, which is projected at 22 to 26 more months." 'SEELE 02' interjected. "We must devote the totality of our resources to this one task, and see what comes of it."

"Now, what about the final report that was mentioned?" 'SEELE 01' was growing impatient. "Does it concern Kyoto University?"

"Yes, it appears that their research has taken off as of late, and is nearing the final stages. I believe it is time to initiate contact with the three students." 'SEELE 07' said. "What say you about contacting them?"

"Well, I believe it's time for the Human Instrumentality Committee and Gehirn to contact them." 'SEELE 01' stated. "We should have a plan to separate them so they don't figure out that their work is interconnected. We will come up with a plan for that later, but for now, let us prepare to bring them into the equation."

April 1998 – Kyoto University

Professor Fuyutsuki was in a rush to find two of his students. They were being contacted by the government about their research. He saw the three girls he was looking for in the back of the research building, nears its relaxation garden. The reason the garden was back there was to allow the students studying somewhere beautiful to take a break, and let their minds wander from their work. However as most scientists abhorred the outdoors or stopping their research, it was a quiet place to hang out. "Yui, Kyoko, are you free the moment?"

The girls looked up to see a very out of breath and red in the face Fuyutsuki standing there and breathing quite heavily. He looked as though he was going to pass out.

"What do you need us for, Doc?" Kyoko asked.

"Both of you have been requested to go to the president's office for a meeting regarding your research." Fuyutsuki said, still panting from all the running he did to find them. "Your presence is requested immediately."

"I guess we better go, see ya later, Mari." Kyoko said getting up off the bench.

"Bye, Mari. We'll tell you all about the meeting when we get back." Yui said, following Kyoko and Fuyutsuki toward the administration building on the other side of campus.

"Bye guys." Mari said. She got up to walk back to the dorm, rather than to the lab as was the original plan. The reason for this change was Mari felt like crying again. It had been a while since she had cried, in fact, she hadn't cried at all since the outburst on Christmas Eve, but today, at this moment, she felt defeated. 'Why their research and not mine? I've made just as many strides as they have, and I'm very close to finishing that damn contraption to detect souls.' Mari had started to cry without being able to think of a reason why she was crying, was she jealous? That was the most likely cause, and the same reason why she cried on Christmas Eve, disappointment in herself, and the distain of not being number one. That made Mari too sad for words.

Meanwhile Yui and Kyoko were nervous about interacting with whoever had called them ask about their research. When they arrived at the administrative building the secretary directed Yui and Kyoko to different conference rooms next to each other, while Fuyutsuki was told to wait outside.

Each girl walked into an identical looking meeting, with three interviewers at one end of the table, and a single chair to sit in at the opposite end. From the looks of it, it was quite intimidating. Both girls had a seat, and the conference rooms' doors shut. After about an hour, with Fuyutsuki waiting patiently for both girls, the doors opened, and the girls came out. Both girls looked relieved, and happy as they were both smiling. Yui sounded like she was going to say something, but Kyoko beat her to the punch.

"How did it go Yui?" Kyoko asked.

"Did they offer you anything?" Fuyutsuki sounded as though he would burst out in dance if she said yes.

"It went well, I think. They offered to have me do my research at the Artificial Evolution Laboratory for some organization named Gehirn. And something called the Human Instrumentality Committee for the Betterment of Mankind will be funding my research, and there's no budget to worry about." Yui explained.

"Yui, that's wonderful." Fuyutsuki had a look of pride on his face.

"Thank you very much, sensei." Yui said, bowing slightly, and then she turned to Kyoko. "What did they offer you?"

"Well, it was pretty much the same as you, but Gehirn in Germany needs someone, but that if I didn't want to move, I'd be able to work at the AEL with you. Although they offered to pay for my moving expenses and also living expenses abroad, I'm not sure if I want to go to Germany, it's so far. I may be part German, but I really never had any intention of going there. I'd rather stay here and continue my research." Kyoko sounded tired. "I'm gonna head back to the dorm to get some rest, what about you?"

"I think I'm going to get some lunch." Yui said, rubbing her growling stomach. "I'll see you when I get back." Yui turned to leave. "Bye, sensei, I dropped off my paper this morning so take a look at it when you have a moment."

"Alright, Yui, come see me tomorrow about your paper, and then we can go over your final dissertation." Fuyutsuki called at the retreating form of Yui.

"Alrighty." Yui skipped (quite literally) off to the lunchroom.

When Yui got to the cafeteria, the line was obnoxiously long. Yui passed the time by looking around. Thankfully the line didn't take too long. Today there were four meals to choose from. Set A, Curried Pork Rice with a small green salad on the side, Set B Salmon with Miso Soup and Milk Bread (Yui's favorite), Set C the totally vegetarian option of tofu stir fry, and Set D was for some of the foreign students, or those who wanted to try foreign food, Chicken Fried Steak, Mashed Potatoes, assorted vegetables, and of course there was gravy. By the time Yui got to near the front of the line, the food was running out. The guy in front of her was at the front of the line. "Set B, please." He took the tray and went to pick out his drink and pay, when Yui said. "I'd like what he had please."

The lunch lady told Yui. "I'm sorry miss, but that man got the last one."

"Oh, well, I'll have Set A then, please." The stony faced man heard Yui's exchange with the lunch lady, and while we was making his tea, Yui bypassed him by getting water, paying, and finding a table to sit at. The man followed her to her table and stood there, and set his tray down. Yui didn't notice him, until he spoke, as she was disappointed about not getting what she wanted for lunch. "I'll switch with you, so give me yours." He slid her tray away from her, and slid his into its place, switching the drinks from the trays as well.

Yui blushed a bit. "Oh… thank you."

"No worries." The man started to walk away. "See you."

Yui, recognizing the first opportunity to talk to boy in months had a crazy thought. "Um, would you like to eat together?" She called, as the man walked away.

"Huh?" The man sounded confused.

"You don't want to eat with me?" Yui sounded just as confused.

"It's not that, I just prefer to be alone." He replied.

"Oh, c'mon, stay and eat with me, it's the least I do considering you switched lunches with me." She smiled at him with that goofy grin she used on her brother when they were younger. After a minute or so, the man sat down across from Yui. "I'm Yui by the way, Yui Ikari. It's nice to meet you… um, what's your name?" Yui said, flubbing the last part in an attempt to learn the man's name.

"My name is Gendo, Gendo Rokubungi, it's nice to meet you as well, Ms. Ikari." Gendo said, quite politely.

June 1998 – Kyoto University

Gendo and Yui were spending time together after another successful date. Yui had, since they first met, been able to put a smile on Gendo's otherwise unmovable face. After meeting him two months ago, they started to send more and more time together. He lived in the same dorm as her, but on the 5th floor, so, Yui would go down to his room and talk to him all night. Mari had become suspicious of her behavior and followed her down one night, surreptitiously of course. She found out about her and Gendo, and was somewhat sad at the development. Since Mari found out, she had been slightly more abrasive with Yui and even Kyoko, and often not spending as much time with the two of them as she used to. Kyoko, on the other hand, knew nothing about her former lover and her best friend being together. She didn't even know he was on campus. Yui had kept her relationship secret from her friends, mostly because Gendo was such a closed off person. But Yui had a more selfish reason. All Yui kept thinking was that she had found 'the one' in Gendo. She had her reasons that she loved him, and that fact, of Yui being in love, was something Gendo was as of yet unaware of. At least for now anyway.

Yui was meeting Gendo on the quad, to tell him how she felt. It had been almost two months and a half and she couldn't get the thought of love out of her head whenever she thought of him. Yui's life was starting to come together, she had finished her dissertation, and had dropped it off at Fuyutsuki's office, and she was prepping to tell a man she loved him, for Yui, it was the perfect day. She saw Gendo, standing awkwardly in his long coat and dark shirt and pants waiting for her with his signature stony face. "Gendo!" Yui called, waving at him. When he saw her, a smile broke out on his face, a true and genuine smile.

"Hello, Yui." Gendo greeted her kindly. "How are you?"

Yui was nervous. "I'm fine, I just submitted my dissertation. Hopefully in the next week or so Professor Fuyutsuki will tell me when I can present it to the board for approval."

"I'm glad for you, Yui. With my change of schools, I hope to finish my doctorates in a few months, maybe I'll be a doctor by winter." Gendo, looked at Yui as he said this, and realized she had something else on her mind 'Whenever her nose crinkles like that, she has something else she wants to say, but is avoiding saying. However, she does look rather… cute… when she does that.' He sighed, he'd never said anyone was cute before, not even in thought, maybe Kyoko, but no one else. "Yui, is something on your mind, you seem distracted about something."

"Hmm, what?" Yui was drawn out of her thoughts on how to tell Gendo she loved him. "Oh, I was just thinking it would be nice if you met my sensei… " Yui blushed. "I mean Professor Fuyutsuki. It would be nice if you met him." Yui smiled at Gendo. "Well, I guess if you ever got into any trouble you could use him as a reference. I know that people like to fight you because they don't like your opinions, but they just don't like being told that someone doesn't agree with them." Yui was surprised her little fib had spiraled out of control so fast, but this had been on her mind as well. Gendo had a knack for pissing people off, and Yui was unaffected by it. 'I guess Shinji gave me immunity to that.' She thought.

"Well, Yui the next time I get in a scuffle, I'll call your sensei." Gendo looked at her, and her nose was still slightly scrunched. "Yui, there's still something on your mind, isn't there."

"Well… yes there is." Yui was at a loss for words. "Gendo, I've been trying to find a way to say this without… without sounding desperate, but it's something I can't get out of my mind." Yui was having trouble, but if she didn't say it now, she probably would never be able to. "Gendo, I… I… I love you."

Gendo was floored. No one had ever said they loved him, not even Kyoko. This was truly a first for him. He was unable to say anything. He had found love, and it felt quite fantastic. Instead of responding with words, Gendo did something even more meaningful, he leaned towards Yui and kissed her, in public! Gendo wasn't big on public displays of affection, but he knew that it would mean a lot to Yui if he did.

And boy did it. Yui was so happy, not only had Gendo kissed her, which was a rare occurrence. But the only times they had kissed before where in his room. Yui was so glad she had told him how she felt, all she could describe it as was love. Yui assumed by the kiss, Gendo, with his always unspoken words, loved her too.

Yui and Gendo were completely oblivious to the people standing around watching them kiss. Some people were dumbfounded. In his short time on campus, Gendo had made quite a negative name for himself as he had everywhere he'd ever been. But at least when he was with Yui, he was truly happy.

After a long embrace, they parted ways, with Yui heading back to her dorm, and Gendo, was heading off campus to get drink. Unbeknownst to Gendo, who was in a sort of afterglow, was being followed by several students to whatever bar he was heading to.

When Gendo arrived at the bar he ordered scotch on the rocks, and was just finishing his first one when eight guys walked in. "Hey, you, Rokubungi." The leader of them shouted.

Gendo turned to face the one calling him out. "Yes?" He responded in an unusually calm voice. "What is it that you want? Can you not see that I'm otherwise engaged?"

"What were you doing with sweet Yui?" one of the guys accused. "Why were you defiling her?!"

"Defiling? You mean the kiss on the quad?" Gendo was staying calm, however this calmness was wearing on the guys.

"Yes, that! How dare you take her innocence!" The guy yelled. "What gives you the fucking right?!"

"Her love does." This statement threw the eight guys over the edge. Several of them rushed Gendo, throwing punches and kicks. Gendo defended himself by taking the bar stool and breaking it on one of the guys, then he took a bottle of wine and beat several of them into submission. However, Gendo was succumbing to the remaining three guys. However before he was taken down, the police came in and arrested all of them.

While in jail Gendo was asked to give a reference to bail him out. To keep his promise to Yui, he told them to call Professor Kozo Fuyutsuki, of Kyoto University.

Fuyutsuki's office phone rang. "Good afternoon, Professor Fuyutsuki, Metaphysical Biology. What can I do for you?" He said.

"Hello, this is the Kyoko Police Department. Do you know a Gendo Rokubungi, professor?" The duty officer said.

"Not directly, I've only heard rumors about him since he transferred to the university." Fuyutsuki responded.

"Well, he says a Yui Ikari told him to use you as a reference." The officer replied.

"Yui did? Well that's interesting. Anyway, what about Rokubungi?" Fuyutsuki asked.

"He needs to be bailed out, sir, he was in quite a fight at a bar." The officer said.

"Me? Well, I guess that'll be all right, when should I come by?" Fuyutsuki asked.

15 minutes later, Fuyutsuki arrived at the police station to bail out Gendo. The weather had also changed in last 15 minutes as well. Clouds had rolled in and a heavy rain was falling. Gendo was led outside to be released into Fuyutsuki's custody. "Professor, it's a pleasure to meet you. I've been waiting." He had bruises on his face and his right arm was wrapped in bandages and in a sling, and he was wearing his jacket over his shoulders. "A woman I know has told me so much about you, and I've wanted to meet you for quite a while."

"Well, I guess the rumors about you are true, getting into a drunken bar brawl is right on the money." Fuyutsuki replied gruffly.

"Well, the argument was a little one sided, and I'm used to getting bad reactions from people." Gendo said, rubbing his injured arm.

"Well, you're certainly going to get one from me." Fuyutsuki turned to walk away.

Gendo laughed. "Well, professor, you are just the man I was expecting." Gendo laughed again and followed the professor back to the university.

Meanwhile, back at the university, Mari was in her lab, nearing the completion of her 'soul detector' when she got a phone call requesting her presence in the administrative building. Mari was confused as to what they may want, but she went along anyway, as it could be important. 'It's like the same kind of call Yui and Kyoko got a while back, maybe it's about my research.' She thought.

She hummed to herself on the way to the office.

Rising up, back on the street
Did my time, took my chances
Went the distance, now I'm back on my feet
Just a man and his will to survive

When Mari arrived at the office, she was directed to the Dean Jushiro Kyoraku's office. Mari was nervous, and afraid. 'Why am I at the dean's office? Am I in trouble or something? Maybe this isn't about my research like I thought.' Her face showed the worry quite clearly. 'I'm just over reacting, that's all. I'm sure it's about my research.' She knocked on the door.

"Come in." the voice inside said, she opened the door and was greeted warmly by Dean Kyoraku. "Ah, Ms. Makinami, please come in."

"Good afternoon, Dean Kyoraku." Mari bowed slightly. "It's a pleasure to meet you." Mari still looked nervous, and the dean noticed this.

"Ms. Makinami, are you nervous about being called here quite so suddenly." He smiled warmly at her. "It's nothing bad, I assure you. I simply asked you here to go over an offer we received regarding you and your research."

"An offer regarding my research?" The anxious look on her face was erased by a bright smile.

"Well, I can see you are happy about this news." The dean sat down on one of two couches facing each other near the window, and motioned too Mari to sit on the other sofa. Mari gently put her bag next to her. "So the offer is from the United Kingdom, from Oxford, for a government research project regarding some classified technology in London. All they would tell me until you formally accepted was that they wanted the best metaphysical student we had." he paused for a moment to catch his breath. "They will cover all of your expenses to move and study abroad, you'd be classified as a special research student."

The look on Mari's face became somewhat sad, her eyes were not as wide open as they once were, the brightness in her eyes has disappeared, and the smile on her face was replaced with a slight frown. 'They want the best metaphysical biology student, and they picked me? Don't they want Yui? She's much better than I am.' Mari thought.

The changes in Mari's appearance had been unnoticed by the dean. "Ms. Makinami, how old are you again?"

"I'm sixteen sir. I came here two years ago after receiving my master's degree." Mari replied.

"Sixteen, eh? Impressive, very impressive." The dean picked up Mari's file from the table between them. "Well, based upon your grades and the faculty reviews of Professor Fuyutsuki, I have no problem recommending you, that is, if you want to go of course."

"Sir, I think, there is someone more qualified than me for this position." Mari said in response to the Dean's question.

"Who would that be Ms. Makinami?" The Dean was curious as to who she might mean.

"Yui Ikari, sir." Mari glanced out the window to see Yui and Gendo conversing on the quad. "Why don't you recommend her instead?" She saw their conversation get very energetic, and Gendo leaned in to kiss Yui. "Her talents and achievements far outshine my own, by a considerable margin."

The Dean was unaware that Mari was looking out the window. "Ms. Ikari you say? You're right, she is quite intelligent."

Mari was still looking out the window to see Gendo depart and Yui waving as he did. "Yes, she's quite a special person."

"Unfortunately, that's not possible." The Dean replied. "She's been selected for government work for Japan. The state won't let her go."

"Oh well, can I think about it?" Mari responded, still staring vacantly out the window at Yui, who had begun to walk slowly toward the dorm.

"Of course, Ms. Makinami, you have a few weeks to sort it all out and make a final decision." The Dean smiled at Mari as she got up to leave.

"Thank you, Dean Kyoraku." Mari bowed. "I'll let you know of my decision in the next few weeks." Mari walked out the door, but there was a glimmer in her eyes, a glimmer only present when Yui was on her mind. Mari was replaying what she saw out the Dean's window in her mind. 'Why him, Yui, why him, why not me?'

July 19, 1998 – Kyoto University

As a treat before her dissertation, Fuyutsuki was going hiking with Yui. The grounds of the university went into the hills, and the biology and geology students went up there to work. But for those who enjoyed a bit of hiking or nature walking, it was the perfect place. Now being nice wasn't the only reason Fuyutsuki was bringing Yui on this hike today. It had been three weeks since Fuyutsuki had bailed Gendo out of jail, and he wanted a few private questions with Yui, without anyone to interrupt or overhear.

About halfway up the trail, after talking about trivial matters, the weather, and other small talk, Fuyutsuki finally got up the courage to talk to Yui about Gendo. He started off rather bluntly, I might add. "You told him about me?"

Yui was caught off guard, and was unsure what her sensei was talking about. "Huh?"

"You told Gendo Rokubungi about me? Why would you tell him about me?" Fuyutsuki didn't sound angry, but he wasn't happy either, it he sounded more irritated than anything else. "And why would he call me when he gets into trouble?"

Yui finally realized what he was talking about, having bailed Gendo out of jail. "I'm sorry, sensei." Yui was truly sorry. 'I hope I didn't offend sensei, I was just hoping they would become friends.' Yui took another moment to choose her words carefully. "Sensei, did it bother you that I told him about you, and asked him to use you as a reference?"

"No, it didn't, Yui." Fuyutsuki sighed, all the anger that he had held onto for the last few weeks disappeared when Yui had asked that, she had realized it had made him angry, but Fuyutsuki decided it would be for the best to let it go. However, he did have a few other questions to ask. "Yui, are you dating him? Gendo, I mean."

"Well, yes sensei, I am." Yui blushed a little while thinking about Gendo. "I've been dating him for a while now, and I really do like him." Yui blushed even harder at the thought of loving Gendo.

"Well, I'll concede that he is an out of the ordinary fellow. He's just not the kind of person I would associate myself with… under normal circumstances." Fuyutsuki said.

"Well, would it surprise you to know that I love him?" Yui asked.

This statement made Fuyutsuki stop in his tracks and spin around. "What?!" He was floored, if his jaw had not become so tense it sold have dropped to the ground out of shock

"I told him so the day he was arrested." Yui started, and she started looking at the ground, swaying slightly with her hands clasped together at her waist. "And after I told him, he kissed me, in front of everyone, right on the quad!" Yui looked up at Fuyutsuki. "I figured the reason he got beat up was because he kissed me and some people didn't like that because of how he acts. But he's not as bad of a person as everyone thinks, he's really quite kind and sweet, at least to me anyway." Yui sighed. "I was glad you got him out of jail, I just didn't realize you judged people based on rumor."

"Yui, I didn't mean it like that, I just don't trust him, it has nothing to do with the rumors, and it's just a gut feeling I have." Fuyutsuki said defensively. "I just don't see you spending the rest of your life with him, Yui." Fuyutsuki sighed heavily and placed a hand on Yui's shoulder. "I just don't understand what you see in him. Or why you would want to… "

Yui cut him off, and said in a kind and gentle voice. "Sensei, I know it's difficult to understand, but I think I can explain it." Yui looked right at Fuyutsuki with her kind eyes. "He hates being alone and so do I, and I find that quality in him quite endearing." Yui smiled. "Other people just don't understand him, or know all the horrible things that have happened to him in his life. If I had gone through those things, then… well, I can't be sure, but I certainly wouldn't like to be around people a lot, even if I hated being alone."

Fuyutsuki was completely unable to respond to what Yui had said. Instead of responding he merely nodded at her and smiled. They continued the rest of their hike in silence until they came back within view of the University. "Well, sensei I'm off to the lab, I have a dissertation presentation to prepare for." Yui said happily.

"Right, that's next week isn't it." Fuyutsuki had completely forgotten to ask Yui how that was going, but to be fair, he had been distracted by other things. "I'm sure whatever you prepare will be top of line work, as always."

"Thanks, sensei, I'll see you later." Yui said cheerfully.

Meanwhile near the Research Building, Gendo was going to see if Yui was in her lab, as she hadn't been at her room, however as he approached the stairs to the building, he saw a very attractive blonde come out. 'Kyoko?' Gendo thought, 'I forgot she went here.' He was surprised, he'd been on campus for a year, and hadn't run into Kyoko until now. Gendo, thinking that he should be polite started to walk toward her.

Kyoko turned towards her dorm when she spotted him. 'Gendo? What's he doing here? Is he looking for me? It's been almost three years since we last spoke.' Kyoko's mind wandered to their goodbye before she left for Kyoto from Osaka. 'I wonder what he's doing here.' Determined to find out Kyoko walked towards Gendo, and the two met up roughly in the middle of where they each started. "Hello, Gendo… " Kyoko spoke first, she still had a hint of surprise on her face, not thoroughly convinced it was Gendo.

"Hello, Kyoko, how have you been?" Gendo replied, smiling slightly. "It's been a long time, hasn't it?"

"Yes, it has Gendo. It's been a while." Kyoko leaned closer to him and whispered. "We should go somewhere else to talk, like the garden behind this building."

"Sure, if that would make you happy, Kyoko." Gendo replied.

Kyoko didn't remember Gendo being this open or happy looking when she left him those few years back. But then again, the last time she saw him, they were essentially breaking up. The two former lovers walked through the Research building to its garden in the back, where Kyoko and Gendo sat down on one of the benches to have a talk. However, unbeknownst to them, someone saw them walking towards the garden, and decided to follow them to eavesdrop on whatever they were going to talk about. That person was one Mari Makinami. 'That's odd, I wonder why those two are walking together.' Mari went towards the back stairwell overlooking the garden and listened through one of the open windows directly above the pair as they began to talk.

"Gendo, why on Earth did you come here?" Kyoko asked, quite forcefully. "Why didn't you finish your doctorate at another school?"

"Well, my previous doctoral program was shut down, and the government said I could pick any school to transfer to. I decided to pick this one for its nice scenery, and I won't lie to you, I picked it because you considered it a fantastic school to attend." Gendo smiled. "I'm surprised I didn't run into you sooner, but I did assume your research was done by now, and I wouldn't see you at all."

"Oh, Gendo, that's sweet, but did you really come here to find me?" Kyoko was stunned at his revelation that he needed someone around him, or the fact the fact that he was actually willing to admit that he liked someone.

"Well, originally, I was going to try and find you, because I still had feelings for you, but during the first few weeks of the term, I met someone who, I guess we've been… well… dating since we met. I switched lunches with her, and she pleaded with me to eat with her… " Gendo's voice trailed off into the memory of him meeting Yui for the first time. "I realized after a while that I loved her, and she told me not too long ago that she loved me." Gendo smiled at Kyoko. "I think I have you to thank for that, you always told me I would find someone and you were right. I think she may be the one."

Kyoko was stunned, if she wasn't so shocked she may have passed out. "Who is this girl? I wonder if I know her." Kyoko wanted to know who the girl was that captured the heart of Gendo Rokubungi.

"I'm not sure if you do, all she tells me about is her research, her brother, and her sensei." Gendo paused. "Her name is, Yui Ikari." This revelation actually did make Kyoko faint slightly, but before she could fall out off the bench, Gendo caught her. "Kyoko, are you ok?" Gendo sounded worried about his old friend.

"Yes, I'm… Yui Ikari?" Kyoko's mind was still scrambled from she had heard and combined her response to Gendo's question about her wellbeing with the question she wanted to ask to confirm the identity of the person Gendo was in love with. "Your girlfriend's name is Yui Ikari?"

"Yes, it is. Do you know her?" Gendo asked, his left eyebrow rose when asked the question.

"Oh, this is bad, not good, not good at all." Kyoko was flushed, and her heart was racing very fast, her former boyfriend, was with her best friend. 'Boyfriend? We never were officially together, what am I thinking?' Kyoko couldn't compose herself. "Gendo, you didn't tell her about… about us did you?" Kyoko sounded desperate, and pleaded with Gendo. "Please, you have to tell me!"

"Why would I have mentioned our relationship? It didn't seem relevant to what me and Yui like to discuss." Gendo was thoroughly confused as to why Kyoko was so worried. "I didn't know that you knew her, you must be one of the friends she lives next to right?"

"Yes, I do live next to her, but that's not the point, I have to tell her about us, otherwise if she finds out later, she might not be my friend anymore, and she may dislike you for not telling her." Kyoko sounded nearly hysterical at this point.

Gendo had trouble understanding what Kyoko meant. "I'm not sure what you mean, but if you wish to tell her about our former relationship, I will not stop you from doing so."

"But, Gendo the problem is, I loved you. I still love you!" Kyoko said, and she sounded hurt that he didn't realize this. "I didn't admit to myself at the time, but that's why I put off breaking up with you for so long, I couldn't do it, you were so nice to me, and the sex… was well, quite good. But I can't be in love with my best friend's boyfriend, that wrong, I have to tell her!" Kyoko had tears running down her face. "And I thought you loved me too, but I guess I was mistaken!" More tears ran down her face, making large wet spots on her lab coat, and staining it with running mascara from her eyes.

"I did love you, Kyoko, but I wasn't in the right place in my life to admit. But, by the time I realized I should have admitted it, it was too late to do anything about. I should have said something that night, but I was too afraid to." He reached out and hugged Kyoko. "I'm sorry I didn't tell you sooner, and I do still care about you Kyoko, I'm sure you'll find someone that will love you as much as Yui and I love each other."

"I'm sorry too, Gendo, I should have admitted how I felt about you that night too." She cried into Gendo's shoulder. "It's all my fault!"

"It's both of our faults, neither of us could admit we liked the other. So there is no need to apologize." Gendo leaned down and kissed her gently on the cheek. "Or to cry."

Kyoko kissed him back, on the lips, and then stopped suddenly. "I'm sorry, Gendo, I shouldn't have kissed you like that." Kyoko hated herself for kissing Yui's boyfriend. 'Yui's boyfriend, of all the people to fall in love, it had to be Gendo, one of the few men to truly like me. God, I'm disgusting.'

Gendo was blushing slightly. "Like I said, it's both our faults. I don't blame you for expressing your feelings for me."

"Ok, so it's both of our faults." Kyoko wiped the tears and running mascara from her face with the sleeve of her lab coat. "I need to go find Yui and tell her about what happened between us, otherwise I could lose my best friend." She stood up and ran inside the research building to the elevator, leaving Gendo alone in the garden.

Mari, having seen the whole exchange from above was shocked 'Kyoko and that Rokubungi guy? Had sex?' Mari thought it was confusing enough when she saw Yui and Gendo kissing, but now the unrequited love between both Kyoko and Gendo made it almost sickening to Mari. 'I feel like I have to vomit.' Mari left the building to go back to her dorm and sulk, she'd visit Yui and morning and tell her something important.

Meanwhile, Kyoko approached Yui's lab, and saw the light was on, she knocked on the door, but got no response, so she opened the door and went in any way to see Yui asleep at her desk. "Yui! Wake up!" Kyoko called startling the poor girl awake and making her fall on the floor.

Yui stood up rubbing her head. "Ow! Why did you sneak up on me like that?!"

"Oh, I'm sorry Yui, but I have to talk to you about something, it can't wait." Kyoko said. "I need to tell you something important, and I don't want you to hate me when I tell you."

For the second time today Yui was completely confused as to what the person she was talking to was talking about. "What are you talking about, Kyoko. Why are you being so confusing?" Yui sighed, her head hurt and she was tired of being confused by people today. "What are you talking about?"

"Well, your boyfriend… Gendo… " Kyoko started, but she was cut off.

"What!" Yui was shocked, it was another conversation about Gendo. "How do you know about him? I've kept it a secret from you and Mari, how did you find out?"

"Well, I saw him outside a while ago, and well… I know him from Osaka." Kyoko was having trouble with saying what she wanted to.

"Oh, were you classmates or something?" Yui was completely oblivious as to what Kyoko was talking about.

Kyoko knew she had to tell her, no matter how much it may hurt. "No, not that, we… we were in a… a relationship." Kyoko decided it was time to pull off the Band–Aid, hard. "A sexual relationship… for two years. We broke up the day before my meeting with the Doc."

"Huh?" Yui was still confused, and she was trying to comprehend what Kyoko was saying, and with the mild concussion she may have had from hitting her head on the ground, it was making her comprehension a little difficult at the moment. Yui rubbed her head. "You dated Gendo? That's not a big deal."

"What?" It was Kyoko's turn to be confused. "I thought you would be mad that we dated."

"I'm not, it doesn't matter." Yui smiled. "I'm not the jealous type." Yui thought for a moment. "But what brought this on? Did you talk to him or something?"

Kyoko looked down at her feet. "Well, yes, we talked in the garden for a while, and… and… we… I… I kissed him!" Kyoko started to cry again. "I'm so sorry Yui, I didn't mean to, but we talked and he kissed me on the cheek to make me feel better, and then, I just kissed him! I'm so sorry!" Kyoko broke down crying.

Yui stepped toward Kyoko and enveloped her in a big hug. "It's ok Kyoko, I guess you loved him but never told him, right?" Yui held Kyoko in the hug until she stopped crying.

"How did you know?" Kyoko asked, wiping her eyes with her sleeves.

"I was in the same position a few weeks ago, until I just got up the courage to tell him. I didn't wasn't to lose him. I can't blame you for loving him." Yui smiled. "Besides we're probably the only two people who love him, so it's not a bad thing."

"You know, Yui, you're probably the best friend someone could ask for." Kyoko said. "You're so understanding."

"I try to be anyway." Yui chuckled. "But you know how it is, sometimes you just can't help who you fall in love with."

"You've got that right, Yui." Mari said as she walked away from Yui's door, after having followed Kyoko up the labs. "You can't help who you fall in love with."

July 20, 1998 – Kyoto University

Mari woke up feeling terrible, everything she had learned about Yui, Kyoko, and Gendo had made her crazy. She sobbed quietly most of the night, and had heard Kyoko come back to her room, but not Yui. 'I bet she's with him.' Mari thought sullenly.

She decided to try and forget her troubles by going up to the roof. Mari got dressed in shorts and a t–shirt and took her school bag with her. 'I'll go to the lab once I'm relaxed enough to care.' It was a nice day out, so Marti decided to paint her nails outside. Mari liked being on the roof in recent months, it allowed her to get away from her feelings and just relax. No one could bother her up there, which was part of the reason why she liked it up there so much. Mari began painting her nails and letting them dry under the strong summer sun. 'It's so nice up here, away from everything… and everyone.' Mari sighed and laid down under the sun and fell asleep. A little while later she woke up, feeling all warm from the sun. She checked her nails to find that they were dry. "I guess I need to go to the lab now." Mari said to no one in particular. Mari got up and stretched, picked up her bag and headed downstairs.

When she arrived at the Research Building she walked past Yui's lab and saw the light was still on. Mari pushed the door open quietly and saw Yui sleeping on her desk, drooling slightly onto the open book on her desk. She had taken her glasses off and apparently fell asleep while getting ready for dissertation. Mari walked over to her and brushed the hair out of Yui's face 'Look at that goofy face, I… I hate her.' Mari grabbed something off Yui's desk and put it into her bag before Kyoko walked in.

"Oh, you're in here." Kyoko said, looking questioningly at Mari. "I just came from Dean Kyoraku's office, he's looking for you."

"Oh, he is? Thanks for letting me know." Mari said as she walked out the door.

Kyoko looked over at Yui and then at the retreating figure of Mari and shook her head.

Yui woke up and shook her head. "Oh, hi Kyoko how are you?"

"I'm fine, did you sleep well?" Kyoko winked at her and smiled, but then the worried look came back to her face. "I just wonder what's up with Mari lately, she's been cold and distant with us for a while now."

"Hmm…" Yui said while looking for her glasses. "Oh, yeah, you're right, she has been pretty odd lately, since shortly after I started dating Gendo. It's weird, I guess."

"Well, she can be kinda odd sometimes, remember what happened at Christmas?" Kyoko said, stirring memories in both of the about Mari crying her eyes out about not being good enough.

"I hope she's alright. I'll find her later and talk to her, to make sure she is." Yui smiled and got up. "It's probably just her research again."

"It's not like we'd know, she hasn't said much lately." Kyoko responded, crossing her arms. "But enough about miss moody, I have some news."

"Oh, what is it?" Yui asked.

"Well after my dissertation at the end of the month, I'll be going to Germany for that research assignment I was offered. I decided after yesterday that it's for the best." Kyoko replied proudly.

"Kyoko, you don't have to leave because you love Gendo, that's just silly." Yui said.

"I have to, I don't think I could trust myself around him, and I don't want to ruin your relationship Yui. I don't want to lose you as a friend either." Kyoko chuckled. "Don't worry about me, I'll be fine, it'll be a new beginning, and change is a good thing."

"I'm sure you're right, but I'll miss you nonetheless." Yui walked over to her friend and hugged her.

"Will you get off? I'm not leaving till next month, and we can hang out till then. Besides I have some stuff to in my lab, so I'll see you later." Kyoko said. "We'll meet in the garden like always."

"See ya, Kyoko." Yui said sadly.

After Kyoko left, Yui started cleaning her lab. She tidied up the stacks of paper she had laying around. She cleaned her desk off, and she also picked up her lab table of all the small lengths of wire and other unused components for her A.T. Field scanner. When she was done cleaning (which took a while because Yui was quite a messy person), she went outside to see both Mari and Kyoko sitting in the garden. Yui went over to the vending machine next the bench they were sitting on and went to get a drink. Without her glasses, small print was hard to see, but Yui was the brave type and inserted her coin, and pressed the button without thinking, and received Tomato Juice. "Oh no, I wanted orange juice."

"What's wrong, did you lose your glasses?" Kyoko asked, as she leaned back on the bench and looked over at Yui.

"Of course I did, otherwise, I'd have gotten orange juice instead of this." Yui opened the can anyway. "I paid for it though, so I'm drinking it." She held her nose and gulped the tomato juice down. "Have either of you seen my glasses?"

"Nope, sorry." Was all Kyoko had to say.

Mari on the other hand didn't have such a succinct answer. "How should I know? You should just get contacts like me. You're too pretty for contacts."

Yui blushed, but her eventual response was interrupted by Kyoko. "Well, anyway, glasses or not, we have to talk about Gendo again."

"Ugh, do we have to?" Yui said. "I talked about him enough yesterday between you and sensei."

"Gendo?" Mari hadn't heard either of them talk about this in front of her before. But Mari played dumb. "Who's Gendo?"

"Only the best guy ever." Yui said, her face started to glow, and Mari began to regret her decision to play dumb. "He's the sweetest, nicest guy I know." Then it hit Yui. "Oh, I haven't told you about him yet Mari, and Kyoko, I never told you how we met." Yui recounted the story of how she met Gendo in the cafeteria, and how he got the last lunch she wanted, and traded with her, and blah, blah, blah.

When Yui finished, Mari looked annoyed and sad and mumbled to herself. "Disgusting…" She got up suddenly and grabbed her bag. "I think I would have been better off not hearing that story at all. I'll see you guys later, I have some work to do."

Yui looked heartbroken. "Wow, what is up with her?" Yui sat down on the bench next to Kyoko and looked over to her friend. "Did I do something wrong?"

"Like I said earlier, whatever her problem is, she's not talking, so how will we know what's wrong." Kyoko said, putting her arm around her friend to comfort her. "Just talk to her later like you said and everything will be fine."

Meanwhile, Mari was walking back to her room, trying to hold in her tears until she got back. However as she got close to the dorm, she passed Gendo on the sidewalk, after the passed by each other without a word, Mari looked even more depressed then before, and tears started rolling down her cheek. 'Why him, Yui, why him?'

Mari made it to her room and stated to cry. She was so mad at Gendo for taking away her Yui. 'What gives that bastard the right to take Yui away from me. I love her more than he ever could!' Mari screamed in her mind 'I should have told her how I felt before, and not waited until now. I should have said something at Christmas.' Mari continued to cry until something crossed her mind. 'Oh, shit, I didn't turn in my dissertation essay!' Mari got off her bed and wiped her eyes off, and scrambled to get her stuff.

She ran out of the dorm and raced to the Research Building and ran up to Fuyutsuki's office. 'I've been so distracted lately, I completely forgot to hand this in. I need to pull myself together.' She hummed to herself on the run over to the Research Building.

What is love?
Baby don't hurt me
Don't hurt me
No more

She knocked on the door. "Professor Fuyutsuki, are you in there?" The only response she got was a loud crash from inside the room. Mari flung open the door to see Yui on the ground with a mess of cages and an upturned chair around her. "What the hell is going on, Yui?!"

"Well, I standing on the chair and was trying to reach a stack of paper on top of the shelves, the chair moved a bit, and I fell…" Yui moved to a kneeling position with a mouse on her head. "I took out the cages when I fell, and all the mice escaped."

"Wonderful!" Mari said loudly, rolling up her sleeves. "Well, get a move on Yui, we have to catch them!" Yui handed moved yet, and was only string at Mari. "Let's go, Yui!"

Chaos ensued while the girls tried catching all the mice. There were 12 in all, and between the two of them it was a tough job. Mari had caught 7 mice relatively easily, but kept admonishing Yui for failing to catch any mice at all. "God, Yui, you're so clumsy, try a bit harder."

Every time Yui dove to capture a mouse, it dodged her attempt, and Yui skidded on the floor. "I know, Mari, I'm trying."

Yui finally got a hold of one mouse while Mari had gotten 10. The final mouse was somewhere, and Yui spotted it, on Mari's head. Mari noticed it there too and had frozen in place. "Mari don't move." Yui said quietly.

"Wha… " Mari said as Yui dove at her and tackled her to the ground, catching the mouse in the process. "Are you stupid Yui?! I could've gotten hurt!" Mari yelled.

Yui ignored her, mostly because she was distracted by having captured another mouse. "I got him!" she said joyfully. Yui got up and transferred the last mouse to the cage. "I'm glad we got them all."

Mari meanwhile was nursing the back of her head, which had impacted the floor quite hard. "Oww, my head…" Mari's hair was covering her face, she moved some of it away to find that her vision was blurry, and she thought she had a concussion, but instead realized something else. "Crap, my contact fell out. Thanks a lot Yui!"

Yui turned around to face Mari. "Sorry, I didn't mean to hurt you." Yui walked over and reached her hand out to push some stray strands of hair out of Mari's face. "You're hair's a mess, let me help."

The unexpected touch from Yui made Mari jump, and the bumped the desk she had haphazardly placed her bag on a few minutes before, knocking it to the ground, with it spilling its contents on the ground. Yui saw something familiar in the spilled contents, a pink set of glasses, and she reached down and picked them up. "Are those my glasses? Why did you have them, Mari? I've been looking everywhere for them."

Mari looked like she was going to cry. She had been caught with Yui's glasses, and to be honest, Mari only took them out of convenience, and for nothing else. At least nothing she wanted to admit anyway. But if the previous day's overheard conversations had taught her anything, waiting to tell someone something only led to further pain and suffering. So, Mari sucked it up and spoke. "I hate you, Yui."

Yui dropped her glasses when Mari spoke, but she said noting and let Mari continue.

"You're so beautiful, and cute, you have the most brilliant mind I've ever seen, and you're always kind to others, no matter how they treat you." Mari closed her eyes to keep the tears from rolling down her face. "You're everything that I'm not, and I hate that you act that way, even after you realize how I feel. You must have put it together at Christmas, right? The way we woke up with me cuddling you like that? You can't be that dense Yui, not if you can get someone like Rokubungi to admit he likes you."

Yui looked at her in silence, trying to comprehend what Mari was saying. Thankfully, for Yui, who had been confused by almost every conversation she had with someone within the last 24 hours, Mari spelled it out for her in no uncertain terms.

Mari, despite her best efforts, had tears rolling down her cheeks, her eyes looked quite sullen, and the light from within them had faded. "Yui, you understand what I'm saying right?" Mari's head drooped so that her bangs were now obscuring her eyes from view. "Don't you realize that I… that I love you?"

Yui had no way to respond to what Mari had said. She was surprised by the admission Mari had made, and the turnaround from so called 'hate' to 'love.' Yui, in an attempt to make Mari feel better, without outright denying her affection told Mari this. "Why don't you sit down, and let me fix your hair."

Mari silently obliged, and, Yui, ever prepared, pulled her own comb and hair ties out of her bag and set to work on Mari's now messy hair. "Yui, I'm sorry I said I hated you. I was just angry that you never seemed to realize that I liked you."

"Well, to be fair, the cuddling was kinda nice, but I just thought that you were cold, and your hand ended up… were it did accidently." Yui said as she combed out Mari's long hair.

"It wasn't really an accident, my hand ended up on your chest, and when I saw it was there, I just didn't move it." Mari said shyly.

"So, why did you decide to tell me you liked me?" Yui asked.

"Well, because I'm going to London at the end of the month to continue my research there, and I didn't want to leave without telling you how I felt." Mari said sheepishly.

"I see…" Yui responded as she was smoothing out Mari's hair and putting the hair ties in. "Those glasses, you can keep them if you like, as a reminder of our friendship." Yui picked up the glasses and slid them onto Mari's face. "I'm sure they're not your prescription though." Yui giggled after putting the glasses on Mari and looking at her. "There we go. Don't you look cute." Yui smiled at Mari and then grabbed a small mirror to show Mari her new look.

"Stop it, Yui…" Mari said, blushing heavily after seeing herself in the mirror, with her glasses and her new twin pigtails she looked like a young, innocent high school student.

"You look good Mari, like a young girl." Yui smiled, still holding the mirror up for Mari.

"Well, I am sixteen, shouldn't I look like a young girl?" Mari put her head down and closed her eyes, she wanted to say something to Yui, but it was hard to say. "Yui, just so you know, I'll be wishing you and Gendo the best, from a… faraway place." This made Mari smile.

"Yeah?" Still looking at the top of Mari's head, Yui smiled back at her. "I know how hard it is to say that, and I'll always remember you Mari. I'll never let go of our friendship, no matter what. Thank you, Mari Makinami for being a great friend."

To Be Continued

A/N: I do not own Evangelion or any of the characters, GAINAX and the other distributors of NGE related material do. I am simply using them as a backdrop for my fanfic.

As for the songs used in this chapter, I don't own them either, and they're listed below in order of appearance:
Survivor – Eye of the Tiger (1982)
Haddaway – What is Love (1993)

No as to the length of the chapter, I surprised myself, and the reason I didn't break this up was that I couldn't, otherwise it would seem kinda disjointed. Now obviously the theme of this chapter being the penultimate one for this episode had to introduce and wrap up a few things. SEELE has been making semi regular appearances, but that was their last one for this episode. Anything else they may aw will give away plot lines for the next two episodes or so (goddamn Dead Sea Scrolls, and their stupid apocrypha).

Anyway, the love quadrangle took shape, and will be shaping the events of the rest of the story, whether it will be explicitly or implicitly shaping events is still up for consideration. Now, the senses from the Anime and Manga will be left relatively unchanged now and in the future, other than some plot changes, and other twists, a bunch of dialogue may sound eerily similar, but I was taught, if it ain't broke, don't fix it.

I hope you enjoyed this chapter, and really hope you enjoy the next one as well. I also hope you will forgive me for using dates, however, I am trying to set up a cohesive timeline, and the dates help set stuff up that I can keep track of in my head.

As I said before, and will always say at the end of chapter, please leave comments, as I would like to try to improve the story going forward any way I can. And, hell, constructive criticism is a good thing.