Neon Genesis Evangelion: Legacy
One Shot – Moving Forward


For jcmoorehead


March 17, 2017 – Comfort 17 Apartments

It had been several months since the Battle of the Geofront, and the kids were now adjusting to life outside of NERV and dealing with the constant threat of an Angel attack. They actually had a lot more time to themselves lately, and as life returned to normal in Tokyo–3, they were preparing to go back to school at the beginning of April.

So, they spent as much time as they could doing absolutely nothing, hanging around the apartment or just going out with their friends. This particular day found the former pilots lounging around the apartment while Misato was one again at work dealing with the duties that came from being NERV's Provisional Commander.

Like most days, Misato had been gone most of the day, leaving early in the morning. So, as was their normal routine around dinner time, Mari was napping, Asuka and Rei were watching TV, and Shinji was getting ready to make dinner. However, for once, instead of coming home well after dinner, came home early smiling from ear to ear.

"Oh, hey Misato." Shinji said. "You're home early for once."

"Well, I have good news." Misato said. "Where is everyone?"

"Mari's asleep." Shinji said. "And Asuka and Rei I think are still watching TV."

"Asuka, Rei, come in here!" Misato called out. "And Shinji… would you mind getting Mari?"

"No, it'll be better than letting Asuka wake her up." Shinji said as he walked off.

"What's up Misato?" Asuka asked as she and Rei passed Shinji on their way into the kitchen.

"Oh, I have some good news." Misato said. "But you all need to be here or it."

"Must be good, if you're home early." Asuka said. "Can I guess?"

"No." Misato said. "Don't try and ruin it, Asuka."

"I'm not." Asuka said.

"Is it exciting news?" Rei asked. "Worthy of celebrating?"

"What did I say about guessing?" Misato asked.

"I'm not guessing what the news is, simply how the news may be received." Rei said.

"Nice try." Misato said. "But don't split hairs Rei."

"It was worth the effort." Rei said as Shinji returned with a rather grumpy Mari.

"This better be good, miso." Mari said. "I was really comfortable in bed…"

"It is important." Misato said. "So, everyone sit down at the table." Everyone sat down and looked at her. "So… I got a call today from social services… and they informed me that your adoptions have all gone through, and now I'm your legal guardian, outside of NERV."

"So… it's done?" Rei asked. "You're our mother now?"

"No, I'm not your mother… unless you want to call me that." Misato said.

"I… I've never had a mother…" Rei said. "Can I call you mom?"

"I… I don't see why not." Misato said. "But I don't expect the rest of you to call me that."

"I can't Misato." Asuka said. "It's not anything against you but… you know… my momma is in Unit–02."

"The same goes for me." Shinji said. "I have a mother… but she's trapped too."

"I just can't call someone who's younger than me my mother." Mari said as she got up and hugged Misato tightly. "Doesn't mean I don't love you like one, miso."

"Mari… that's so…" Misato murmured.

"Are you gonna cry, miso?" Mari asked.

"No… it's just… onions." Misato mumbled.

"You're a bad liar." Asuka said.

"I… well, it's just nice you all care so much." Misato said. "You're the closest I'll get to actually having children of my own…"

"What do you mean?" Rei asked.

"Rei, not now." Shinji whispered as Misato began to sob.

"Hey, don't cry Misato." Asuka said. "It'll be ok…"

"Yeah… I… I guess…" Misato sobbed.

"Onii–chan, why is she crying?" Rei asked quietly while Asuka and Mari tried to calm Misato down.

"Because she misses Kaji." Shinji whispered back. "I think they wanted to have kids someday…"

"Oh…" Rei mumbled as she walked over to the still crying Misato and hugged her. "Mr. Kaji was always very kind to me… I can understand why you miss him."

Misato glanced at Rei and returned the hug. "Yeah… he was a good guy…"

"Misato, didn't you say you had a few things to tell us?" Mari asked.

"Well… " Misato mumbled as she wiped her face off. "I… hold on." Misato took a deep breath. "Mari, can you let go?"

"Sure miso." Mari replied. "So… what's the news?"

"Well, with the adoption being final, we can finally move into a bigger apartment." Misato said. "And Rei can move out of that old apartment of hers and in with us officially."

"Where are we moving though?" Shinji asked.

"Upstairs to the fourteenth floor… the penthouse." Misato said.

"Can you afford that, Misato?" Asuka asked.

"Asuka, I don't know how many times I've told you… I own the apartment." Misato said. "But I guess I should probably get some tenants… it's kinda empty."

"But why?" Mari asked. "It's nice not having neighbors."

"Mari, what's the point of owning an entire building if it just sits here empty?" Misato asked.

"I don't know… I'm not the one who owns an empty building." Mari replied.

"Oh, never mind." Misato said. "So, Shinji, you'll be in charge of the move."

"Why me?" Shinji asked.

"Because you're the most responsible and I trust you to decorate the apartment appropriately." Misato said.

"Aren't we just moving everything from down here up?" Shinji asked.

"No… I want to keep this apartment the way it is." Misato said.

"Why?" Shinji asked.

"I… I don't know." Misato said. "But I'll give you my credit card and you can order all new furniture and stuff for the penthouse."

"Ok…" Shinji said.

"Misa… mom, can I help onii–chan?" Rei said. "And can I furnish my own room?"

"Sure, Rei." Misato said. "Whatever you want."

"Misato… I thought you were broke." Shinji said. "How are you going to afford new furniture? I mean, you barely afford food or anything else."

"Well… I never told you kids this…" Misato said. "But… I got a huge settlement from the government after my father died in Second Impact. I just never really wanted to use it. Other than buying this building, and buying my car, I haven't really spent it on anything."

"So, you're rich?" Mari asked.

"Well off." Misato said. "But that's not the point. We can afford new stuff, I'm just cheap."

"So… can we all get TVs?" Mari asked.

"If you really want a TV Mari, you can use your own paycheck." Misato said.

"But… I don't have a job." Mari said. "I'm poor."

"No, you're actually not." Misato said. "You four got paid very well for being pilot, and you're still getting paid."

"We got paid?!" Asuka shouted.

"Well yeah, but as minors with no legal guardian, the money was held in trust." Misato said. "Are you surprised?"

"Sure am." Asuka said. "I'm apparently not broke."

"I know, it's nice to have money." Mari said.

"I can't believe we got paid." Shinji said.

"Even me?" Rei asked.

"Yes, Rei, even you." Misato said.

"So… what can we buy with all that money…" Mari wondered aloud.

"Look… you might have money, but you shouldn't waste it." Misato said. "And you guys even have pensions from this experience, so you'll keep getting paid."

"Seriously?" Asuka asked.

"Yeah, it's crazy, but with how dangerous your jobs were, it was only natural." Misato said. "But… I only just found out about it today… so can we talk about this later?"

"Why not." Asuka said. "Not like it's going to disappear."

"Good point." Mari said. "But what do we do now?"

"How about we go to dinner and celebrate?" Shinji suggested.

"Yeah, karaoke!" Mari shouted.

"Can't we go somewhere without music?" Rei asked. "Like a normal family?"

"We're kind far from a normal family." Asuka said. "But I'm with Rei, let's go to a nice restaurant to celebrate… somewhere we have to dress up."

"But I don't wanna!" Mari said. "Dressing up sucks donkey balls!"

"It's not that bad, Mari." Shinji said. "You at least get to wear a dress…"

"And what's that supposed to mean?" Asuka asked.

"Guys can't wear dresses… " Shinji said. "You guys can choose not to wear pants."

"That's logical." Rei said. "Dresses allow for freedom of movement, which pants do not allow."

"Still, I don't want to dress up." Mari said. "I hate dressing up!"

"You don't really have a choice, four eyes." Asuka said. "We're going somewhere nice for once."

"So… dinner out at a nice place then." Misato said. "Sounds like a plan to me."

"Damn it…" Mari muttered as she sulked off to her room. "Do I even have a dress?"

"I should go help her." Asuka said.

"I'll get her." Misato said. "I should have something that'll fit her… chest."

"Do you have something for me?" Rei asked. "I don't really have anything… exquisite."

"I might." Misato said. "Just wait till I've wrangled Mari, and we'll get you something too."

"Thank you… mom." Rei replied with a broad smile.


March 30, 2017 – Tokyo–3, Old Hakone Quarter

It was a quiet day out and Rei was doing something one last time. She was making sure nothing remained at her old apartment of any worth. Asuka had gone along with her to help, even though Rei insisted that she didn't need any, Asuka was still curious about where Rei had been living all this time.

"So this is it?" Asuka asked. "It's a dump."

"Yes… I was put here to isolate me from everyone else." Rei said as they began to climb up. "It is not a clean environment… and before I didn't really care… but after seeing how Shinji keeps everything, it all seems so obvious how wrong it is."

"Well, yeah, we're not meant to live in filth…" Asuka said as they passed mold growing in the stairwell. "I mean… I might not pick up my dirty panties… but this is totally fucked."

"Not even Misato's room is as bad as this place." Rei replied.

"Well… yeah." Asuka said. "Doesn't this place have a fucking elevator?"

"No, it like the rest of the building, is quite useless." Rei said.

"Man, how did you survive doing this all the time?" Asuka asked.

"I was usually at NERV being tested by Dr. Akagi." Rei replied. "I can't believe I thought this place a refuge from there…"

"Well, when it's being with her or being here, I'd have a tough choice to make." Asuka said.

"Well, it's no longer a choice I have to make." Rei said as they reached her floor. "Dr. Akagi is in a prison somewhere very far away, and I live somewhere wonderful now."

"Well, as wonderful as it can be living with Misato and Mari." Asuka said.

"Misato is not that bad." Rei said. "She's very kind to me."

"And what about Mari?" Asuka asked.

"I… I don't know anymore, Asuka." Rei said. "And I would prefer not to discuss it."

"Ok." Asuka said. "Consider it dropped."

"Well, this is it." Rei said. "My old home." Rei pushed open the door and stepped inside, and didn't bother to take off her shoes when she did. "It's even worse than I remember."

"Wow… everyone was not kidding…" Asuka said. "How did you live like this?"

"I wasn't really living, Asuka." Rei said. "I was nothing more than a ghost in a shell."

"And what's changed?" Asuka asked.

"Onii–chan." Rei said. "Without him… his compassion, I'd be nothing. And you as well, Asuka, you taught me that I did not have to be silent, that I had a voice, even if I was too afraid at time to speak my mind."

"That's… unexpected." Asuka replied. "No one's ever said that I was good influence."

"Onii–chan must have." Rei said.

"No, he's just happy to be with me." Asuka said. "There's a big difference on that."

"Even so, it's nice that you make each other… happy." Rei said.

"Most of the time." Asuka said. "We have our moments."

"I thought that fighting was a part of relationships." Rei said.

"It is, but sometimes I get frustrated and yell at him for no reason." Asuka said. "Mostly just so we can… make up." Asuka blushed. "Don't him I said that."

"You mean you create arguments just to have sex?" Rei asked.

"Yeah…" Asuka said as she looked down at the ground.

"I won't tell him." Rei said. "I have kept far more dangerous secrets as of late."

"Haven't we all…" Asuka muttered. 'What's her deal about not mentioning Mari…' Asuka thought as she looked around the dingy apartment. 'I thought they were in love… I don't get her reluctance to talk about her…' Asuka didn't see much was there. "So, uh, this is it? Is there anything you want to take?"

"There is only one thing I came to retrieve." Rei said as she moved the shelf near her bed. "My Mew."

"Is that a Pokémon doll?" Asuka asked.

"Yes." Rei said. "I thought onii–chan could add it to his collection."

"Did you buy that?" Asuka asked.

"No… it was a gift from the Commander… long ago." Rei muttered. "Before I ever died, and before I was isolated."

"So, it's special?" Asuka asked.

"No, but it does remind of a time when I felt normal…" Rei said as she picked up her plushie. "Something I hope to feel again soon."

"You were never abnormal, Rei." Asuka said quietly as she cleared her throat. "So that's it then, the rest of this stays here?" Asuka asked.

"Yes, we may depart." Rei said as turned and left, with Asuka following close behind as they headed for home.

–––

Shinji was napping on the new couch when Asuka and Rei returned. They had mistakenly gone to the old apartment downstairs out of habit, and forgotten that today was the first day in the new apartment. They got back in the elevator and went up to the top floor, and went to their new spacious apartment. When they were last there a week ago, it was empty and unpainted, but now, with Shinji's efforts for the past few weeks having paid off, the apartment was fully furnished. They were both amazed by how drastically things had changed. The walls still smelled vaguely of paint, new appliances lined the kitchen, and new furniture was everywhere. The apartment was almost four times the size of their previous one, featuring many more rooms along an extended veranda. The hallway to the kitchen was much longer, but the kitchen was also proportionately larger as well. Leaving the kitchen, they walked into the much larger living room, with its two new couches, one of which was occupied by a napping Shinji, and its massive TV and pair of armchairs.

"Wow… this is amazing…" Asuka said as she looked to her right and saw another hallway that led to the bedrooms, and to the left where the master bedroom was situated right off the living room, just as it was in their old apartment.

"Onii–chan did a wonderful job." Rei said

"Well, you helped." Asuka said.

"All I did was furnish my own room." Rei said.

"So… the stuff Shinji had me look at…" Asuka asked.

"Was to furnish your room." Rei said.

"My room, or our room?" Asuka asked.

"Why don't you ask onii–chan?" Rei replied. "He's the one who did all this."

"I think I will…" Asuka said devilishly as she crept over to snoozing Shinji and tickled his cheek. "Baka… wake up…"

Shinji opened his eyes drowsily and saw Asuka staring at him. "What…?" Shinji mumbled.

"Which one's our room?" Asuka asked.

"Second on the left." Shinji said. "Between Rei and Mari's rooms."

"So… we're sharing a room?" Asuka asked.

"Just like we wanted to." Shinji said.

"Is that appropriate though?" Rei asked.

"We're dating, of course it's appropriate." Shinji said tiredly. "We already sleep in the same room, and…" Shinji trailed off.

"And what, baka?" Asuka asked.

"I like being next to you when I'm asleep." Shinji said. "I feel… safe."

"Oh, you're so cute." Asuka said. "So the bed and sheets and stuff you showed me…"

"Is everything I bought for our room." Shinji said.

"And that yellow paint color I liked?" Asuka asked.

"That's the color of our room… just like that sun dress you have." Shinji said.

"And my room is powder blue." Rei said proudly. "I looks very nice."

"What about Mari's room?" Asuka asked. "Is it some horrific color?"

"It's not horrific!" Mari said as she came out of her room. "It's tan!"

"Seriously… it's not pink?" Asuka asked.

"No, I was surprised myself." Shinji said.

"That's way too much pink, even for me princess." Mari said. "Besides… I still have pink sheets, and a pink lamp!"

"That makes more sense." Asuka muttered.

"Tadaima!" Misato called from the entrance.

"We're in here, miso!" Mari shouted back.

Misato walked in looking worn down. It was her first time home in over a week, due to Fuyutsuki's long trial finishing and his relatively lite conviction of life in prison now hitting the public airwaves, in addition to more detailed information about the events that occurred in Tokyo–3 from the previous two years, the Provisional Commander of NERV was expected to take high level phone calls and do interviews to assure people that the Evangelions pose no harm to anyone anymore, and that the Angels were gone. So due to people from all over the world calling for her, she decided to sleep in her office, leaving the kids to their own devices.

"Wow, Shinji, you did a great job!" Misato said happily. "I knew I could trust you."

"Well, I did my best." Shinji said.

"No, you did wonderfully." Misato said.

"So how was the circus?" Mari asked.

"What do you mean?" Misato asked. "I'm tired, less jokes."

"You know, how did you deal with all the interviews?" Mari asked.

"Yeah, you might not have been home, but you were on TV a lot." Asuka said.

"I wasn't expecting it." Misato said. "I never thought people would be that interested in anything about the EVAs."

"Well, they believe them to be a threat." Rei said. "I can understand their concern."

"Well, they're not a threat to anyone anymore." Misato said. "At least for the time being."

"Do you really think they'll stay asleep?" Mari asked.

"I don't know…" Misato said. "All I can do is hope."

"That's gotten us so much in the past." Asuka quipped.

"Asuka, try to be optimistic." Rei said. "The Angels are gone, and things are becoming normal…"

"Oh, speaking of normal." Misato interjected. "Normal teenagers drive, right?"

"I thought you had to be 18 to drive in Japan?" Asuka asked.

"Well… only if you've never piloted an Evangelion before." Misato said. "So before I go out of my way… which of you wants to drive?"

"Absolutely not." Mari said emphatically. "I can barely get into a car without a panic attack. If I was behind the wheel of anything, I'd probably freeze…"

"Mari, you don't have to be afraid…" Misato said kindly.

"I said NO!" Mari said.

"Mari, calm down." Shinji said. "No one's making you drive."

"Fine, just don't ask me again." Mari said as she sat down grumpily in a chair.

"What about you, Asuka?" Misato asked.

"Of course I do!" Asuka said. "I've always wanted to drive!"

"I'd like to drive too." Shinji said. "That way I can go to the big supermarket and actually buy all the food we need."

"God, puppy, you're so practical." Mari joked.

"What, it's not like Misato's car can hold any food… and if I bought eggs and drive with her…" Shinji said.

"The eggs won't make it." Rei said.

"Hey!" Misato said. "I drive fine!"

"If you're avoiding artillery fire." Shinji said. "But you drive too recklessly, and I'd like to drive without seeing my life flash before my eyes."

"Fine… big meanie…" Misato muttered. "What about you, Rei?"

"I would rather wait." Rei said. "I don't feel ready for the responsibility yet… perhaps in a few years."

"Ok…" Misato mumbled. "So… let's see about getting you two licenses."

"Awesome!" Asuka said.

"When will we know?" Shinji asked.

"Give me a few days." Misato said.


April 2, 2017 – Comfort 17 Apartments

Shinji and Rei were watching TV together while Mari was napping and Asuka was playing Pokémon. She was on the floor holding her GameBoy above her head and could see Shinji and Rei sitting above her.

"Where's your GameBoy, baka?" Asuka asked.

"Our room." Shinji replied. "Why?"

"Play with me." Asuka said.

"Asuka, the last time we battled, you destroyed me." Shinji said. "Can't you just battle everyone in the game."

"Done that, baka." Asuka said. "I'll use my B–team if it helps."

"No thanks, Asuka." Shinji said. "Mari would put up a good fight though."

"Yeah, but she's napping…" Asuka whined. "What about you, wundergirl? Wanna battle?"

"Not right now, Asuka." Rei said. "Perhaps later."

"Gott, no one's any fun." Asuka muttered. "Fine, I'll go destroy the Elite Four for the millionth time… and then kick my rival's stupid ass!"

"Have fun Asuka." Shinji said as he heard footsteps from behind him. "Mari?"

"Wrong guess, kiddo." Misato said. "Wanna see what I got?"

"Big tits?" Asuka asked sarcastically. "Or is it booze?"

"Very funny Asuka…" Misato said. "So I guess you won't be wanting your license."

"What?!" Asuka shouted as she leapt up. "You got it?!"

"Well, a provisional license for Shinji." Misato said. "He's closer to his sixteenth birthday than you are, Asuka. Come October, you'll get yours."

"Aww, I have to wait?" Asuka asked. "Why?"

"Because you're not almost sixteen." Misato replied. "Something about starting driver training too early…"

"Damn it all…" Asuka muttered. "So, when does Shinji start driving then?"

"Well, as soon as he's sixteen, he can take the driver's exam." Misato replied.

"Lucky…" Asuka muttered.

"Asuka, you'll be ok." Shinji said. "It's just a few more months."

"But I wanted to learn to drive together!" Asuka said. "It would have been fun!"

"We can still learn together." Shinji said. "Can she come along when I start practicing?"

"I don't see why not." Misato said. "She can watch and learn, right?"

"Yeah, I can watch and learn, Misato." Asuka said. "How hard can it be?"

"Well, would you two like to go now then?" Misato asked.

"Yeah!" Shinji and Asuka said excitedly.

"Ok, then let's go." Misato said.

"May I come along as well?" Rei asked.

"Are you sure, Rei?" Misato asked.

"I believe it will be interesting tag along." Rei replied.

"Alright, let's go then." Misato said as she motioned them all to leave.

–––

Shinji was sitting in Misato's car. Misato was in the passenger seat next to him, and Asuka was in the back, behind Shinji, smirking from ear to ear with Rei sitting behind Misato.

"So, Shinji, turn on the car." Misato said.

"Aren't there other instructions before we go any farther?" Shinji asked. "Like adjusting mirrors or something?"

"Who uses mirrors?" Misato asked.

"Adjusting the seat?" Shinji asked.

"Whatever." Misato said as she rolled her eyes.

"What about buckling up?" Asuka asked.

"No thanks." Misato said.

"Yeah, and you wonder why we're afraid to drive with you." Asuka muttered.

"It is very concerning." Rei said.

"What?" Misato said. "It's how I drive!"

"Recklessly." Asuka said. "Baka, don't listen to her, you piloted an Evangelion, you can drive this little car."

"Little car?" Misato asked.

"Yeah, this car, it's little." Asuka said. "How else would you describe this thing?"

"A beautiful piece of French engineering." Misato said.

"More like death trap." Asuka mumbled.

"It certainly isn't as robust as an Evangelion." Rei added.

"So, are you going to keep making cute comments, or do you want to go back to the apartment?" Misato asked.

"Asuka, can you please be nice?" Shinji asked. "I want to start driving."

"I will baka." Asuka said. "You can do this."

"Ok, so Shinji, what are you doing?" Misato asked.

"Adjusting the mirrors, adjusting the seat, and buckling up." Shinji said. He turned on the car "You should do the same."

"Why?" Misato asked. "I don't like seatbelts."

"Misato, if we crash, you could get hurt." Shinji said.

"Yeah, but it hurts my chest." Misato said. "It like… itches."

"For fuck's sake, that's your problem with seatbelts?" Asuka asked. "Your tits are in the way?! Seriously?!"

"It does seem foolish…" Rei said. "Not wearing any restraints can hurt"

"Well, if you weren't flat chested, you'd understand!" Misato retorted.

"If she's flat chested, what does that make me?" Rei asked.

"Huh?" Misato asked as Asuka's face turned red.

"Excuse me?!" Asuka shouted back. "Flat chested?! Are you high, Misato?!"

"Enough you two!" Shinji said loudly. "Stop arguing already! I know families argue sometimes, but can you two just grow up!"

"Shinji… don't you…" Misato began.

"What, yell?!" Shinji asked. "Misato, you know as well as I do that Asuka is not flat chested and that she's self–conscious about it!" Shinji turned to Asuka. "And Asuka, we know Misato drives poorly, but stop poking fun at her, it's not very nice."

"Sorry, Shinji." Asuka said.

"I'm not apologizing, I'm the parent here." Misato said.

"Misato…" Shinji mumbled.

"Fine… sorry. Asuka, you're not flat chested…" Misato replied. "Now… you hit the brake…"

"Good, then let's go." Shinji interrupted as he depressed the brake and put the car in gear, hit the gas and pulled roughly out of the parking lot.

"Shinji, take it easy." Misato said as Shinji accelerated.

"What, I'm barely going 40k/h." Shinji said calmly.

"Yes, but… you're still new." Misato replied.

"But, Asuka's right, this isn't that hard compared to piloting the EVA." Shinji said as he looked over at Misato. "It doesn't require anywhere near the same amount of concentration."

"But you still need to keep your eyes on the road." Misato said fearfully.

"You mean the way you do while you're driving?" Shinji asked as he went towards the center of town.

"Ok, fine, don't take a cue from me." Misato said as she pointed forward. "Just look at the road."

"Now she gets it." Asuka quipped. "How's it feel?"

"This isn't how I drive." Misato said as Shinji changed lanes.

"No, Shinji's actually not driving erratically." Rei said. "He's staying in his lane."

"Yeah…" Misato asked as Shinji stopped at a red light.

"So, you don't stay in your lane." Asuka said. "He's almost like a natural."

"Yeah how are you this good at driving?" Misato asked.

"No idea." Shinji said as the light turned green. "It must be all the EVA training."

"How is that a transferrable skill?" Misato asked.

"Well, we have to concentrate and focus on piloting." Rei said. "And driving requires a lot of focus."

"Shinji, be honest, did you sneak out in my car?" Misato asked.

"No, I just read the driver training manual." Shinji said. "Asuka and I read it the other day. The rules are straightforward enough if you just look at them."

"That's it?" Misato asked. "Reading?"

"Maybe you should peruse it, Misato." Asuka said. "You might learn something."

"Like what?" Misato asked.

"Perhaps how to drive safely." Rei quipped.

"Shinji pull over." Misato said.

"Why?" Shinji asked. "I'm having fun."

"I'm not." Misato said. "You don't need much from me to learn how to drive. You should pass the test fine."

"Misato, are you upset or something?" Shinji asked. "I mean… I'd like some more lessons."

"Shinji… I'm not the best teacher for you." Misato said. "I want you to pass… and if I teach you, you'll fail."

"He'll pass if he does the exact opposite of what you do." Asuka said.

"Asuka, stop." Shinji said. "Misato, I do need practice, I can't take the test without it."

"Well… I guess I'll just sit in the car with you and let you drive around." Misato said. "Can't do much else."

"So… can I drive us home then?" Shinji asked.

"Yeah, go for it." Misato replied.


May 15, 2017 – Tokyo–3 Car Emporium

Mari said she had a surprise for Shinji and dragged him downtown, with Asuka and Rei tagging along out of curiosity. When they got to the car lot, there were all a bit unclear as to why Mari had brought Shinji there.

"So, what's the surprise?" Shinji asked.

"Puppy, are you really that dense?" Mari asked.

"We're all that dense." Asuka said. "Why did you drag us down here?"

"You didn't have to come." Mari said. "I only meant Shinji."

"We were curious about why you rushed Shinji out of the house." Rei said.

"Well, you're looking at it." Mari said.

"Did you buy the car lot?" Asuka asked.

"No." Mari said.

"But you hate cars." Shinji said.

"Yeah." Mari replied.

"The why bring us here?" Rei asked.

"Jesus… I'm buying Shinji a car." Mari said. "How did you not get that?"

"I would've gotten it eventually." Asuka said.

"How are you buying him a car?" Rei asked.

"With my money." Mari said.

"The money Misato specifically said was off limits." Asuka said.

"No, the money she said was not to waste on frivolous shit." Mari said. "And buying a car for my godson is the opposite of frivolous. And maybe I'll even buy one for you princess… when you turn sixteen."

"So… what does that mean?" Shinji asked.

"Any car you want within reason." Mari said.

"But there's so many to choose from." Shinji said.

"Well… pick something practical." Asuka said.

"Something you can carry the groceries in." Rei said.

"And cart us around in." Mari added. "Just a suggestion though."

"Would you actually get in a car?" Shinji asked.

"If you were driving, I'd consider it." Mari said. "But only with you driving."

"Why only him?" Asuka asked.

"I don't know, I've always felt safe with Shinji around." Mari said wistfully. "So uh… any car here, puppy, and you can drive it home."

"But I don't have a license yet." Shinji said.

"And we're not old enough to buy anything legally." Asuka said.

"I'm eighteen now, so I can buy a car." Mari said.

"Ok… so what should I get…" Shinji said as he looked around.

"Take your time." Mari said.

"Well… being practical, a sports car isn't going to help much, and neither is a small car." Shinji said.

"You mean a kei car?" Rei asked.

"Yeah, I won't have enough space for all the food we eat." Shinji said. "But I don't want anything too large either…"

"What about those?" Asuka said, pointing in the direction of some small SUVs. "They're not too big."

The group of them walked over and began looking around at the selection of cars. As they looked through the SUVs, Shinji was drawn to a striking blue one. He looked it over and saw that it wasn't overly large, or imposing. It wasn't Japanese, and from the emblem, it looked American. "This is nice." Shinji muttered as he looked at the front end of the car. "It looks… happy."

"Shinji, look at this one, it's a VW!" Asuka said excitedly. She didn't hear him respond and saw him looking at his own choice. "Baka, why aren't you listening to me!"

"I think he found his own." Rei said. "It's a nice color."

Asuka looked at it and sighed. "But it's American…"

"So?" Mari asked.

"This is German engineering." Asuka said pointing to the VW Tiguan. "It'll run better."

"Yeah, but I bet that gas mileage is bullshit." Mari said. "I mean, they lied about the emissions…" Asuka grumbled silently as Mari walked over to Shinji. "So, find something you like?"

"Yeah, this one." Shinji said proudly. "It looks nice, doesn't it?"

"Yeah, it looks nice, but are sure it'll fit everything?" Mari asked.

"It should." Shinji said. "But there's room for four."

"Are you sure you want this one?" Mari asked. "I don't want you complaining of buyer's remorse in a few weeks."

"Maybe a test drive is in order?" Shinji asked.

"Now you're talking." Mari said.

"Baka… why this one?" Asuka asked. "It's not German…"

"Asuka, it looks like a nice car." Shinji said.

"Besides, he can get inside a German anytime he wants." Mari quipped.

"I'm ignoring that only so you'll buy me a car later…" Asuka grumbled.

"Does that mean you won't be arguing for a few months?" Rei asked innocently.

"I think it does." Mari said gleefully. "I really think it does."

"Mari, don't hold it over her head." Shinji said. "It's not nice."

"But puppy… I'm buying you a car." Mari said. "Unless you'd rather…"

"This is what I mean, Mari." Shinji said. "You're going to abuse it and Asuka's gonna end up hitting you."

"What me?" Mari asked mockingly. "I would never." Mari saw Shinji give her a disapproving look. "Ok, fine, I won't abuse it."

"Thank you." Shinji said.

"So… who do we have to talk to about a test drive of this thing?" Mari asked.

"What is it though?" Rei asked.

"A Ford something…" Asuka said pointing at the emblem on the grill.

"It's a Ford Kuga." Shinji said.

"Interesting name…" Rei said. "What does it mean?"

"No idea." Shinji said as Mari walked over to a salesman. "Looks like Mari found someone to talk to though."

"So, you're really gonna buy this one?" Asuka asked.

"If it drives well." Shinji said.

"But why?" Asuka asked.

"I don't know, it just feels right." Shinji said. "I can't explain it."

"Fine, but if I get a car, I'm buying something fast." Asuka said.

"What happened to practical?" Shinji asked.

"You're the practical one, baka." Asuka said. "I'm the one who likes to live dangerously." Asuka smirked. "Besides, a fast car would probably feel right."

June 30, 2017 – Atsugi, Japan

Shinji and Asuka had just gotten off a train. After receiving a call the previous day from his previous guardian, Jushiro Kyoraku about picking some things up from the house that were still stored there. Shinji agreed to drive down, but Jushiro gently reminded him about the other thing he had to pick up, and Shinji agreed to take it as well. Asuka and Rei offered to help him, but Shinji said he'd only be able to drive one other person back. Rei was confused by Shinji's comment considering his Kuga could carry many people, but capitulated and Asuka was excited to meet Shinji's old guardian.

As Shinji and Asuka walked away from the train station, Shinji flashed back to when Kaji pushed him onto a train headed back to Tokyo–3, the last time Shinji saw Kaji alive.

"Hey, what's wrong?" Asuka asked. "Stop looking so upset. I thought you were happy to come down here again."

"I was…" Shinji said. "I just remembered the last time I was down here was the time I saw him…"

"Him?" Asuka asked.

"Kaji." Shinji said. "He shoved me on a train and that's the last time I saw him."

"Well… don't think about that now." Asuka said. "But I still don't understand why you didn't just drive us down here… you have a car and a license."

"You'll understand soon enough." Shinji said.

"I don't like when you keep secrets from me baka." Asuka said.

"Asuka, it's not like that." Shinji said. "Come on… there isn't that much stuff I left behind. We'll probably be able to take most of it with us."

"But how, on the train?" Asuka asked.

"Not… not exactly." Shinji said.

"Fine, don't tell me." Asuka said as they continued walking.

As they walked, Shinji kept looking around, remembering why he was so happy to leave this place, as peaceful as it was, all he could remember was the bullying and his loneliness.

"Hey, when I said don't tell me, that didn't mean don't talk to me." Asuka said.

"Sorry, just thinking." Shinji replied.

"About?" Asuka asked.

"The past." Shinji replied simply.

"Ah… that's specific." Asuka said.

"What?" Shinji asked.

"Oh nothing, you just avoiding telling me anything today even though I'm here to help you and all that." Asuka quipped. "Aren't you supposed to tell me everything?"

"Asuka, it's just difficult to talk about." Shinji said.

"You're not the only one who had a difficult childhood." Asuka said.

"I know, but you don't really talk about your childhood all that much either." Shinji replied.

"I… I hate when you do that." Asuka muttered.

"What?" Shinji asked.

"Catch me off guard and prove your point." Asuka said. "That's not how relationships work… the girl is always right!"

"What about in a relationship with two girls?" Shinji said sarcastically. "They can't both be right… and a relationship with two guys… they can't both be wrong."

"Huh… I guess… whoever the… gottverdammt!" Asuka shouted. "You get what I mean!"

"No, but you look so cute when you get angry." Shinji said sweetly.

"Kiss ass." Asuka said, giving Shinji a peck on the cheek. "Stop flattering me."

"But it always works." Shinji said.

"Yeah… cause I like being told I'm pretty." Asuka joked. "So… are we there yet? Cause I'm tired of walking."

"Almost." Shinji said. "Just a few more blocks."

"I didn't think this town was so big." Asuka said.

"It doesn't seem big." Shinji said. "But it has a sizeable population."

"Surprising." Asuka said. "This seems like a nice place to live though."

"It looks nice… but the people aren't." Shinji said. "They never had anything nice to say."

"How would you even know that?" Asuka asked.

"I heard them whispering whenever I walked around town." Shinji said. "They didn't even try to hide it… this was not a happy place for me."

"Hey, don't think about it so much." Asuka said. "Now they can all whisper about your super sexy exotic girlfriend."

"Yeah… things are certainly looking up." Shinji said as he wrapped his arm around Asuka. "Oh, we're here…"

"This is it?" Asuka asked. "It's nice."

"Yeah, it was a nice place." Shinji said. "Sensei is a good man."

"I can't wait to meet him." Asuka said as the pair of them approached the front door. Shinji reached out and ran the doorbell nervously. "Hey, don't be so nervous." Asuka said kindly.

"I'm not." Shinji said as Jushiro answered the door.

"Shinji, oh it's wonderful to see you!" Jushiro said brightly. "Come in, please, come in!"

Shinji and Asuka followed Jushiro inside and sat down in the living room where Jushiro sat down across from them. As they sat down, Jushiro was smiling broadly.

"Ah, it's so nice of you to come down on such short notice." Jushiro said.

"Well, you said it was urgent." Shinji said.

"That it is, Shinji that it is." Jushiro said as he looked up and realized Asuka was there as well. "Oh… where are my manners. I'm Jushiro Kyoraku." Jushiro said. "And you must be Miss Soryu."

"That would be correct." Asuka replied. "How do you know about me though?"

"Shinji mentioned something the last time he was here with that nice man, Mr. Kaji." Jushiro said kindly. "Such a nice man."

"Yeah, he was." Asuka said sullenly.

"Did something happen?" Jushiro asked.

"He's… he died." Shinji said. "It's still rather fresh in our memory."

"Oh, such a shame." Jushiro said. "I'm so very sorry."

"Things happen." Asuka said.

"So, sensei, why did you call me down here?" Shinji asked.

"Ah… yes." Jushiro said. "Still straight to the point." Jushiro leaned back in his chair. "After the recent revelations about NERV and my former colleague, Professor Fuyutsuki, I see the need to move somewhere… less familiar."

"Why is that?" Asuka asked.

"Well… the people in this town are eternal gossips." Jushiro said. "And many days, simply going out to the store elicits a stream of whispers I haven't heard since Shinji moved to town. Now that Shinji and my former work life have been linked, for my own health and sanity, I wish to move somewhere else… perhaps to a smaller, more out of the way town in the mountains."

"Oh…" Shinji said. "I'm sorry, sensei…"

"Don't apologize my dear boy." Jushiro said. "This isn't your fault no more is it Kozo's fault… these things happen."

"Not generally." Asuka said. "These things only happen around NERV."

"Well, I do have one question…" Jushiro said. "Is everything that Fuyutsuki said true?"

Shinji paused for a moment before answering. "Yes." Shinji said simply. "My father is a war criminal."

"Ah… such a shame." Jushiro said. "Fuyutsuki should've known better… but he did love your mother very much."

"He… he did?" Shinji asked.

"Oh yes, she was a wonderful person." Jushiro said. "She was the Madonna of the campus…" Jushiro trailed off. "Anyway… if you could go through your things and decide what to do with them, I'd be very appreciative."

"I scheduled a moving truck for this afternoon." Shinji said. "I just have to call and they'll ship anything I want back home."

"Oh, that's very smart thinking, Shinji." Jushiro said. "So, how about a little tea and catching up before you begin?"

"Sure, sensei." Shinji said.

"Thank you very much." Asuka replied.

–––

After a short catching up with Jushiro on some of things that had been happening, and several hours of going through his old room, the room he'd essentially grown up, Shinji and Asuka had gone through all of Shinji's remaining possessions and packed them up neatly in boxes ready to be taken by the movers. There was one box of more sentimental items that Shinji refused to part with and would take back with them to Tokyo–3. As the movers got there and took everything away, Shinji and Asuka were doing one last look through of his old room to make sure they had taken everything.

"So, that's everything?" Asuka asked.

"Looks like it." Shinji said as he looked around at his old, now completely empty room. "Everything but one thing."

"What's left, a kitchen sink?" Asuka asked. "The room doesn't even have any dust in it!"

"I'll show you in a minute." Shinji said. "But first, let's say goodbye."

"Well… yeah, if that's everything." Asuka said. "So, am I carrying the one box?"

"If you don't mind." Shinji said.

"Lazy ass… making the girl carry the box." Asuka joked.

"You wanted to help." Shinji quipped back.

"You got me there, baka." Asuka said as she picked up the box and followed Shinji to the kitchen. Asuka set the box on the table and they saw Jushiro making more tea.

"Ah… I thought you might like something before you got going." Jushiro said.

After a quick and silent drink of tea, Shinji set his cup down and smiled. "Thank you, sensei." Shinji said. "And thank you for everything."

"Like I've said before Shinji, you don't need to thank me." Jushiro said as he put a set of keys on the table. "And these are for you… that way you can get home."

"Thank you sensei." Shinji said as he took the keys and the box off the table.

Asuka's eyes went wide. "Those… those keys. I know those keys…"

"Well, I'll leave you to it, Shinji." Jushiro said. "It was nice to meet you, Asuka."

"Nice meeting you too." Asuka said as she followed Shinji towards the garage. When they got inside, Shinji found the light and Asuka gasped.

"This car?" Asuka asked. "Why is it here? Shinji… why is it here?!"

"Asuka, relax, ok?" Shinji said. "Don't get upset."

"But it's his car… its Kaji's car!" Asuka said excitedly. "Why is it here, Shinji?!"

"He wanted it stored in a safe place." Shinji said. "He wanted me… he wanted us to have it… in case he never came back."

"But… it's his car." Asuka said. "He… I can't believe…"

"Do you need a minute?" Shinji asked.

"No… I just didn't expect this." Asuka replied.

"I didn't know how to tell you." Shinji said. "That's why I didn't say anything."

"I get it." Asuka said. "You didn't want to upset me… thank you."

"You're welcome." Shinji said as he unlocked the car.

"So… can you drive a manual?" Asuka asked.

"Misato short of explained how." Shinji said as he opened the bonnet and put the box away. "I should be able to handle it."

"It's so weird…" Asuka said. "I never thought I'd see this again… it still looks wonderful." Asuka sighed. "But Shinji… I know why you didn't tell me, you didn't want me to cry… but why didn't Kaji tell me?"

Shinji paused, thinking carefully what to say. "He didn't want to upset you, that's all." Shinji said as he walked over to her. "He cared about you a lot… he wanted me to fix things with you. He wanted us to be happy… he didn't want us to waste time like he and Misato did."

"Well… I'm glad you listened to him." Asuka said. "Otherwise we'd still hate each other."

"I don't think so." Shinji said. "We would have worked things out eventually."

"Do you really think so?" Asuka said.

"Well, we found each other after such a long time." Shinji said. "I don't want to say that we're meant for each other… but I do love you."

"I love you too baka…" Asuka said. "And stop being so corny… it's annoying."

"I can't." Shinji joked. "My love for you makes me super corny."

"I really meant stop." Asuka said. "It's only cute when we're having sex."

"Fair enough." Shinji said as he got in the car. "So, are you getting in?"

"Yeah." Asuka said as Shinji started the car and opened the garage door. "After you get out of the garage." Shinji eased the car into reverse, and got the car into the street. Asuka shut the door behind them and got in next to him. "Let's drive."

Shinji had some difficulty shifting into first gear, but drove off slowly, and had some difficulty getting into second gear, grinding the gears a bit as he went.

"So, you were saying about how you'd be able to get the hang of it?" Asuka asked over the sound of the transmission grinding.

"I will…" Shinji muttered as she got the car into third gear. "Just give me some time, ok?"


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.

Timelines are very important to me! So, this one shot takes place roughly two months after the conclusion of Episode VI, and three years before Episode VII's opening chapter.

So, this one shot is meant to tie up some loose ends regarding the ending of Episode VI, and to fill some of that three year time gap between Episodes VI and VII. The kids being adopted by Misato, how they ended up moving into a larger apartment, and how Shinji retrieved Kaji's Ferrari. A few other things, such as answering whether the kids got paid, and what car Shinji would get for himself, and Rei's own journey into being human and starting to leave the past behind.

As for choosing the Ford Kuga, I chose it for personal reasons, and because it looks like the kind of car Shinji would drive. And while I do realize that in japan, people can't drive till they're 18, these kids did pilot Evangelions, so if an exception were to be made, it should be with them. However, laws may have changed in a post–apocalyptic Japan, where those who are younger would be allowed to drive.

As I said before, and will always say at the end of anything, 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.


つづく