Neon Genesis Evangelion: Legacy
One Shot – A Very Mari Christmas


For Silvermoonlight GJ


December 15, 2015 – Tokyo–3 Junior High School, Class 2–A

Mari was sitting patiently in class waiting for the bell to ring signaling lunch. She was starving, and also had a few questions to ask her friends.

'Come on you son of a bitch… ring!' Mari thought angrily. 'I'm fucking hungry over here!'

Ding dong ding ding… ding dong ding ding

"Rise… Bow… Sit!" Hikari said.

Toji and Kensuke grabbed Rei and ran from the room, and headed for the cafeteria.

'About fucking time…' Mari thought as she got up and slid over to Shinji's desk with a pleading look on her face. "Hiya, puppy… got lunch?"

"Of course, Mari…" Shinji said. "I'd hate to forget everyone's lunch."

"Yeah, if you did that, I wouldn't be very happy." Asuka said as she appeared on Shinji's other side. "You'd be in some serious shit, baka."

"Well, I'll do my best to never forget lunch." Shinji joked.

Shinji took out three bentos, handing one to Asuka, and one to Mari as Hikari and Rei sat down.

"Hey guys, what's up?" Mari asked.

"Not much, I'm just tired." Hikari replied.

"I am fine, thank you for asking, Mari." Rei said.

"So what are you all doing for Christmas?" Mari asked.

"Jeez, way to segway, four eyes." Asuka said.

"What, I'm curious!" Mari said. "I know you two are staying at the apartment, as is Misato. I was wondering if anyone else could come over."

"Oh, I can't." Hikari said. "I have my dad and sisters, I'd love to, but I can't."

"Hey, family comes first." Mari said.

"I know Sakura was happy Toji was going to be at the hospital for Christmas, and Kensuke's dad got the day off, so I guess it's just us, unless Rei has plans, she can come over, right?"

"Of course, as long as the blueberry is free." Mari said happily.

"I have no plans." Rei said. "I have never had any plans for Christmas."

"Awww, blueberry, you're coming over to our place." Mari said. "Be there Christmas Eve, ok?"

"I will be there but I do not have any gifts to give." Rei said.

"You don't need to bring any." Shinji said. "Presents aren't the only thing Christmas is about."

"No, I will bring a gift." Rei said. "I will bring tea."

"Rei, you're not supposed to tell us." Asuka said.

"Yeah, but we appreciate you bringing tea." Mari said.

"Well, still, don't forget to wish the rest of a Merry Christmas while you're enjoying yourselves." Hikari joked.

"We won't forget Hikari." Shinji Replied.

"Speaking of the rest of us…" Mari asked. "Hey, where's Laurel and Hardy?"

"Oh… they got in trouble for fighting." Rei said.

"What?!" Hikari shouted. "What for?!"

"Oh… someone called me a freak because of my hair and eyes, and Toji took great offence and threated to "pound the crap out of them" if they did not rescind their comments."

"I'm guessing they didn't take back their comments…" Shinji said.

"Precisely." Rei replied. "They decided to call me a few more names which by the looks on Toji and Kensuke's faces were not very kind. Toji then jumped on them and began to beat them up, and Kensuke jumped in to help. Both of them injured those other boys quite effectively, then security dragged them off somewhere."

"Jesus, I'll be back in a minute." Hikari said. "If I'm not back by the bell, Shinji, you'll deal with getting everyone to their seats."

"Me?" Shinji asked. "Are you nuts?"

"No, I just trust you the most to not abuse the power." Hikari said as she glanced at Asuka, and Mari, who both smiled devilishly.

"Yeah, she's right." Asuka said. "I would abuse it."

"So would I princess, so would I." Mari said.

"See, you're the best choice, Shinji." Hikari said. "Now I'm going to get those heroic idiots out of trouble. Rei, come with me, we'll set this straight."

"Alright, Hikari." Rei said as she got up and followed Hikari out of the room.

"So, are you two ready for Christmas?" Mari asked.

"Mari, you are awful at segwaying a conversation." Shinji said.

"Hey, I have a one track mind." Mari said. "And whatever happened to Rei, I'll make disappear with our Christmas party. She's coming over Christmas Eve, and she'll stay the night."

"Where, four eyes?" Asuka asked. "Our rooms are kinda full."

"We'll figure something out princess." Mari said. "Just relax and let me handle things."

"Yeah, just what we need…" Asuka said. "A lunatic running the show…"

"I may be a lunatic, but at least I admit it." Mari said. "Unlike some people…"

"And just what is that supposed to mean?" Asuka asked.

"Feeling persecuted are we?" Mari purred. "Feeling, cuckoo cuckoo for Cocoa Puffs?"

"Shut up, four eyes!" Asuka shouted.

"Ha!" Mari said. "Found the nerve!"

"I said to shut up!"

"Guys, in the spirit of Christmas, can you just… stop?" Shinji asked. "I'm not going to enjoy Christmas if I have to break up your fights constantly."

Mari pouted and gave Shinji a bone crushing hug. "I'm sorry puppy… I promise to leave the princess alone. We won't fight anymore, at least until next year anyway."

"Yeah, I won't start anything either…" Asuka said sheepishly. "I promise…"

"Wow, almost two weeks without you two fighting…" Shinji said. "It'll be a Christmas miracle…"

"Careful, baka!" Asuka snapped. "I said I wouldn't fight with her, I never said I wouldn't argue with you!"

"Alright, relax, Asuka, just enjoy the upcoming holiday." Shinji said brightly.

"Yeah, princess, what could possibly go wrong?" Mari asked.


December 19, 2015 – Comfort 17 Apartments

Mari was sitting alone at the apartment. She had skipped school that day in order to intercept several packages she had arriving from her online shopping spree.

"Jeez, you could never have done this in the 90s…" Mari said as she sat watching TV waiting for the delivery. "Using the internet to order shit, and having it rush shipped to your door in two days at no extra charge… completely fucking insane, but in the best possible way." Mari stretched as she heard the doorbell ring. "Yay! They're here!"

Mari went to the door and opened it to see a man in a brown uniform standing at the door.

"Miss, could you sign here please?" The man asked as he handed her a small digital tablet,

Mari took the tablet and signed her name in cursive. "Here you go." Mari said with a wide smile. "So… are these packages it?"

The man grimaced. "No, miss, these three were only ones I could bring up on the hand truck, there are nine more in the truck."

"Really, nine more?" Mari said happily. "I didn't realize I'd bought so much!"

The man smiled back. "Well, with all these boxes, your family should have a nice Christmas."

"Yeah… my family will have a nice Christmas." Mari replied happily as the man went back down to retrieve more of Mari's order.

After a short while, the delivery man had brought in all the packages, and Mari began to unpack them with gusto.

"Awesome, I have everything I need here to make this the best Christmas ever." Mari said brightly. "I just need to wrap the gifts first…" Mari said as she pulled out the brightly colored paper she had ordered, and then the various gifts she had bought. "Wow, these look eve cuter in person! I can't wait to see their reactions to all this stuff!"

In a flurry of tape and wrapping paper, with the occasional flash of the scissors, Mari wrapped everyone's gifts up and then placed them carefully on the couch. Mari moved onto the next set of boxes she had received and opened each of them up and looked at their contents with a devilish grin.

"Well then, with all the wrapping done, I guess I should get to work on getting this place into proper Christmas order… now where should I put the tree I bought…" Mari said happily. "May as well move all the shit we don't need in here out onto the veranda, it's not like we actually use that thing, do we?"

–––

Asuka was sitting quietly outside the mall. She had a few bags next to her with wrapped presents inside. Each one was for someone she considered a friend, a gift for each friend, minus Shinji. She looked at the bags and sighed.

"Well, at least this place offered to wrap the gifts, cause I'm no good at it really." Asuka said. "But that solves all my issues, except what to get Shinji…"

Asuka looked up to the sky and sighed again, deeply. "So, do I like him or not? They say Christmas Eve is the most romantic holiday there is in Japan… and I'll be spending it with him… but I'm not even sure I like him, yet I want to get him the perfect present… it's just a thank you though… for throwing me that surprise birthday party with all my favorite food… or do I want to impress him or something… god this sucks… I can't even make up my mind as to what to get him… I was able to get stuff for everyone else, but I want his to be special… I can't even make sense of my own mind… I hate when it won't let me choose what I'm feeling in my heart and forcing me to just use my brain to make decisions…"

Asuka looked back towards the mall. "Well, maybe they have the perfect gift, and I just need to go back in there and find it. Maybe I just didn't look hard enough… I just wish I knew what I was looking for…"

"The hell I didn't look hard enough!" Asuka said proudly. "I'm Asuka Langley Soryu, and no mall is going to keep me from finding the perfect gift for one of my best friends!" Asuka got up and went back inside the mall determinedly. "I don't care how long it takes, I'm finding Shinji the perfect gift to show how much I… appreciate him…"

–––

Shinji was walking through the store. He had a cart full of food and presents, but one present in particular was proving difficult to find, one for Asuka.

"What should I get Asuka?" Shinji asked himself. "I mean I can't get her anything too impressive, or can I?" Shinji kept walking around looking in vain for something to buy. "I mean, I like Asuka, but I don't want to buy her something too… intimate. I just need to find the perfect gift to express our friendship… but what should I get her… I don't want to get the wrong thing, otherwise she'll hate me, and I don't want her to hate me…"

Shinji kept looking around, seeing things he thought Asuka might like, but he couldn't really decide. "I want to find Asuka something, but I don't really know what she likes… it's not like we really talk a lot, at least about anything other than the EVAs or school… it's funny, I love Asuka, but I don't know anything about her… I mean I know her mother's dead, and that she can be kind sometimes, and she plays videogames, and I know when her birthday is, but everything else is a complete mystery… I guess I need to work on that if I want to truly say I love Asuka…" Shinji sighed. "You can't say you love a person and not know anything about them…"

Shinji kept walking around the store until he came upon something he thought Asuka might appreciate. "Wow, I think this might be it… its perfect for her… at least I hope it is…"

–––

Shinji and Asuka came upon each other as they approached the apartment. They were both carrying their purchases from their day out shopping, and both had wrapped gifts with them.

"Hey, Asuka." Shinji said. "Done shopping?"

"Yeah, got everything I needed." Asuka said. "Presents and all. What about you?"

"Yeah, I got everything." Shinji said nervously. "I just hope you like what I got you…"

"Shinji, you may be an idiot sometimes, but I doubt you could ever disappoint me." Asuka said.

"Really?" Shinji asked.

"Of course, baka!" Asuka said. "Are you questioning me?"

"No, I was just making sure…" Shinji said.

"Come on, let's go inside before you say something else stupid." Asuka said.

"What else could I say that's stupid?" Shinji asked. "What did I say that was stupid?"

"Pretty much that… baka…" Asuka said shaking her head.

The two of them went up to the apartment and went inside, but were not expecting what they saw, an explosion of Christmas decorations.

"What in the fuck…" Asuka said.

"I'm not sure…" Shinji said. "It's like Christmas exploded in here…"

"Puppy! Princess!" Mari said happily, holding two Santa hats in her hand. "You're home! Gifts under the tree, now!"

"What…" Shinji said.

"What tree…" Asuka asked.

"The tree I bought dummies!" Mari said happily. "I wrapped your gifts and put them under there already. You need to do the same, now!"

"Do we have to?" Asuka asked.

"You bet your ass you do." Mari said threateningly. "Otherwise you won't like the consequences…"

"Fine, I'll put the things under the tree… where is it?" Asuka asked.

"Living room." Mari said. "Just follow me."

Asuka and Shinji followed Mari into the apartment and were dazzled by all the things she had but up, garland was everywhere, Christmas lights lined the ceiling and at the center of it all was an eight foot artificial Christmas tree with a massive star and hundreds of ornaments and several more strands of lights than it needed. There were several gifts already under the tree, and Mari was pointing to the tree threateningly.

"Put the gifts under there, otherwise you don't get Santa hats." Mari said.

"Fine…" Asuka said.

"Alright Mari." Shinji said. "Just stop being so serious."

"I have to be serious." Mari replied. "You guys deserve the best Christmas ever! That's why I bought all this stuff!"

"Where did you get the money…" Asuka said.

"You know we get paid, right?" Mari asked. "Like a lot…"

"Yeah, we know… we just don't go blowing our wad over it, four eyes." Asuka said.

"Well, I don't really need to buy anything…" Shinji said.

"Boring!" Mari said. "Online shopping is the best!"

"Great… just don't buy more stuff…" Asuka said.

"Oh, stop being such a Grinch, princess." Mari said.

"I'm not a Grinch!" Asuka shouted.

"Yeah, said the one who has no Christmas spirit." Mari purred.

"I'll show you Christmas spirit!" Asuka shouted.

"Hey!" Shinji said loudly. "What did I say about fighting?!"

"Not to…" Mari said sheepishly.

"Sorry baka…" Asuka said sadly.

"You both should be!" Shinji said. "No fighting till next year, that's what you both promised me."

"We know…" Asuka said. "It's just…"

"It's a bad habit puppy, we're sorry." Mari said.

"I'm glad." Shinji said. "Now if you two can keep from killing each other for a little while, I'm going to make dinner."

"We won't kill each other." Asuka said.

"Well, I could always just kill the princess with kindness…" Mari said as she hugged Asuka from behind.

"Mari… leave her alone." Shinji said. "She doesn't like being touched like that."

"Yeah, get your hands off my boobs, pervert!" Asuka said.

"Sorry, they were in the way, princess." Mari said. "Nice and supple too."

"Four eyes!" Asuka shouted.

"It's going to be along few weeks…" Shinji said sadly as he went to the kitchen.

Mari and Asuka looked at him as he walked away, and then looked at each other.

"Alright, to make sure baka stays happy, we can't fight anymore. At least not for a while anyway…" Asuka said.

"Alright, princess, I can do it if you can." Mari said. "Deal?"

"Deal." Asuka said. "Just don't cup my tits again."

"No promises, princess…" Mari said.

"Jesus… this will be impossible." Asuka said.

"No, just improbable." Mari said.

Asuka sighed and shook her head, then looked back up suddenly. "Oh shit…" Asuka said. "I just realized… what's Misato going to say when she gets home?"

"Who the fuck cares?" Mari said. "All I know is it'll be funny."


December 24, 2015 – Tokyo–3, Old Hakone Quarter

Rei was getting dressed to go over to the apartment for Christmas. She was putting on her school uniform for lack of any other choice. She looked at herself in the mirror as she pulled on her skirt.

"It feels very odd to get dressed and go somewhere besides school or NERV…" Rei said to herself. "I do not believe I have ever just gone somewhere without a purpose. The only day I can remember doing such a thing was not even me…" Rei sighed. "The day papa bought Mew…"

Rei looked over at the Mew sitting above her bed and smiled. "That is the only gift I have ever received… but now perhaps it will no longer be so…" Rei said. "I am very glad that Mari invited me over for Christmas… but I am still not sure what the custom if Christmas exactly is… I guess I will simply have to find out." Rei said. "I am… excited… at least I believe this is the appropriate emotion. I am going to be with all my friends. I cannot wait until I experience my first Christmas…"

Rei looked at the box of tea she had in a simple brown bag. "I just wish I could have thought of something more to bring besides tea… but if Mari, Asuka, and Shinji say it's alright, then I will trust my friends… because they care for me deeply."

Rei picked up the bag and went to put on her shoes. She looked around her apartment once more and then silently left and started her walk with a large smile on her face.

–––

Rei arrived at the apartment and knocked on the door. She waited patiently for a few minutes and knocked again and waited a few more moments before Shinji came and opened the door, wearing a Santa hat.

"Hi, Rei." Shinji said.

"Hello Shinji." Rei replied. "I apologize for being late."

"You're not late, Rei." Shinji said. "But why did you knock?"

"I did not know what else to do." Rei replied.

"You could ring the doorbell next time." Shinji said pointing to the button next to the door. "That way you don't have to wait for us for so long."

"I did not realize that is what that pad if for." Rei said. "I also have one at my apartment, but it apparently does not function."

"It's alright, Rei." Shinji said holding out a Santa hat. "Just put this on before you come in."

"Why?" Rei asked

"Otherwise Mari will be annoyed." Shinji said. "Trust me, it's easier on all of us if you do."

"Understood." Rei said.

Rei put on the hat and followed Shinji inside, and then saw the awesome decorations for herself. The entire apartment had been further decorated by Mari since she set things up a week before. There was now fake snow littering the living room, along with what looked like cotton tufts made to be clouds sparkling snowflake lights hanging from the ceiling.

Misato and Asuka were seated on the couch and had angry looks on their faces, while Mari was positively beaming.

"Blueberry!" Mari said happily. "You're finally here!"

"Yes, I am here." Rei said. "I brought tea."

"Rei, you're not supposed to tell us what you got!" Misato said.

"But they already knew I was bringing tea…" Rei replied.

"It's ok, blueberry, miso's just an angry Grinch." Mari said.

"I'm angry because you've destroyed the apartment!" Misato said. "I mean everything is so…"

"Christmassy?" Mari asked. "It's Christmas miso… it has to be decorated appropriately!"

"I get that, but why is it ice cold in here?!" Misato asked. "It doesn't have to be cold as hell too, does it?"

"I was wondering about that myself." Rei asked. "Why is it so cold in here, it is vastly different from the temperature outside."

"Well, considering we can't have a traditional white Christmas, I thought I'd make the apartment as realistic as possible!" Mari said indignantly. "What's the problem?"

"It's fucking cold!" Misato said.

"Misato, will you relax?" Asuka said. "So what it's cold? Maybe cover up your tits and you won't feel that frozen."

"What?!" Misato shouted.

"Yeah, we shouldn't see those hard nipples through your shirt miso…" Mari purred. "You must be cold… or horny…"

Asuka broke down laughing, and Mari smiled widely as Misato went slack jawed.

"MARI!" Misato shouted. "How is that appropriate?!"

"I never said it was miso…" Mari said. "But we can really see those nipples of yours…"

"Yeah we can, Misato." Asuka said. "Maybe put on an actual shirt?"

Misato stood up and angrily. "Everyone's a fucking critic…" Misato muttered angrily as went to her room and slammed the door.

"Guys… why?" Shinji asked.

"It was easy." Mari said.

"Yeah, she pokes fun at us all the time." Asuka said. "She can't handle a little bit?"

"But really, her nipples?" Shinji asked.

"Well, if they're on display, they're fair game." Mari said.

Asuka nodded her head. "Agreed."

Shinji shook his head. "You guys are unbelievable."

"It was quite believable, Shinji." Rei said. "And it was quite enjoyable to watch."

"Was it really?" Mari asked.

"Of course." Rei said. "I do like when you and Asuka double team someone, especially when you double team Shinji. It is quite enjoyable to watch."

Mari raised her eye brows and Shinji and Asuka just stared at her.

"What did you say, Rei?" Mari asked.

"I said I like when you double team Shinji." Rei said. "Did I use the phrase wrong?"

"Well…" Shinji said.

"Not at all, blueberry." Mari said cutting Shinji off. "Not at all."

"Well, Shinji and Asuka's expression do not indicate that is case." Rei said. "It seems to indicate that I said it wrong."

"Well…" Mari said. "It kinda does have a different meaning, but I can explain it later."

"What is it?" Rei asked.

"Not now, Rei." Mari said.

"But I am curious." Rei said. "I would really like to know."

"Do you really want to know, wundergirl?" Asuka asked.

"Asuka be nice…" Shinji said.

"Yes, I would like to know, Asuka." Rei said. "It must be interesting if Mari is not blurting it out inappropriately like she usually does."

"Well you implied that me and Mari both fuck Shinji at the same time." Asuka said.

"That is quite funny…" Rei looked at the three of them and then started giggling. "That is very funny…" Rei then bent over and started laughing.

"Oh my god… she's actually laughing." Asuka said.

"Wow, she has a cute laugh." Shinji said.

"Christmas miracles can happen…" Mari said. "All it takes is a sex joke to make her laugh…" Mari smiled. "Hey blueberry, are you ok?"

Rei stood up and tried to stop laughing. "I am quite fine… I have just never laughed before." Rei took a deep breath and kept smiling. "It was quite… fun…"

"So… it was your first time?" Mari asked.

"Yes." Rei said. "It hurt a little, but it was still enjoyable."

"Oh lord…" Shinji muttered.

Asuka shook her head. "She's impossible…"

"So, Rei, wanna know where you're sleeping?" Mari asked.

"Yes I would." Rei said.

"Good, you'll be in my bed, and I'll be here on the couch." Mari said.

"That seems acceptable." Rei said. "I am sure your bed is quite comfortable."

Mari smiled. "It is, blueberry." Mari said. "But did you bring anything else to wear?" Mari asked. "Or just the school uniform?"

"No… this is all I have." Rei replied.

"Well, glad I thought ahead then." Mari said grabbing a bag from behind the couch. "Here, some clothes for you to change into, so you don't just have to wear your uniform all the time."

"Thank you, Mari." Rei said. "That was very thoughtful of you…"

"No problem blueberry." Mari said. "Why don't you go change, it's kinda late and I think we're going to bed soon, right?"

"Yeah, we want to be up early, don't we?" Asuka said. "For the presents and stuff."

"Alright, then bedtime it is!" Mari said happily. "Anyone gets near the tree tonight, I'm tackling them to the ground."

"Again with the over seriousness…" Shinji said.

"What, I don't want your presents ruined!" Mari said.

"Alright, we'll stay away from the tree." Asuka said. "Now can we go to bed?"

"Yeah!" Mari said as she ran to the bathroom. "But I get to pee first before bed!"

"Damn it, you do that every night four eyes!" Asuka said as she ran after her. "I need to pee too you know!"

"Don't care, I'm peeing!" Mari said through the bathroom door.

"Do they do this every night?" Rei asked.

"Yeah…" Shinji said. "I guess Christmas won't change how they act…"

"Well, they are still quite funny." Rei said. "The can be quite endearing at times as well…"

"Yeah, Asuka can be so adorable at times." Shinji said. "It's nice to see her smile."

"Mari is the same way is she not?" Rei asked.

"Yeah, she those two are like two peas in a very loud pod…" Shinji said.


December 25, 2015 – Comfort 17 Apartments

Mari was half asleep when she heard a rustling next to her. She opened her eyes to see Shinji a few inches from her face and staring at her intently.

"Puppy?" Mari said sleepily.

"Merry Christmas, Mari." Shinji said.

"Why are you in my face?" Mari asked.

"Well, I decided to ask myself… what would Mari do?" Shinji said.

"Well, you know me pretty well, don't you puppy?" Mari smiled. "I would totally have done that to you."

"I know." Shinji said.

"So, where is everyone else?" Mari asked.

"Well, Asuka sounded asleep, and Misato would be out here if she was awake, and I'm not sure about Rei."

"Well, I'm up Shinji." Misato said.

"Oh, Merry Christmas Misato!" Shinji said happily.

Mari smiled. "Merry Christmas, miso!"

"Yeah, Merry Christmas…" Misato said.

"Hey, miso are you still mad about last night?" Mari asked.

"Yes." Misato said bluntly.

Mari stood up and went over to Misato and hugged her tightly. "I'm sorry miso… I was only kidding around."

"Yeah, I know, but I still didn't like it." Misato replied.

"Well, maybe tease us less, and we won't tease you as much." Mari said.

"Seriously?" Misato asked.

"Yeah, pretty simple isn't it?" Mari said.

"Yeah, almost stupidly simple…" Misato said.

"Your words, Misato." Asuka said as she came out in her pajamas. "At least you figured it out on your own though."

"Yeah, well, I'm smarter than you give me credit for, Asuka." Misato said. "And Mari, can you let go? I think you're crushing my ribs."

"Sorry miso…" Mari said. "So, where's the blueberry?"

"I am awake, Mari." Rei said sleepily in her pajama, which had a blueberry pattern.

"Mari, sis you really buy her that?" Asuka asked.

"Well, I thought she would look cute in them." Mari said.

"Well, they do match her hair." Shinji said.

"See, someone gets it." Mari said.

"Yeah, of course he gets it, he's your best friend." Misato said.

"Ok, can we stop talking and just open presents?" Asuka asked.

"Patience princess!" Mari said as she grabbed four gifts out from under the tree, and handed one to each of them, and then took an identical box for herself. "Open these first, then we can do the rest of the presents."

"Oh boy…" Asuka said.

"I'm worried." Shinji said.

"There's no need to be, puppy." Mari said. "Just open the presents."

The four cautiously opened the gifts Mari had handed them. Inside each box was a folded up sweater in a different color. Asuka got red, Misato purple, Rei got blue, and Shinji got white. They unfolded the sweaters and held them up to see something else. Each of them had felt lettering and a felt emblem on the front. Shinji's spelled out "puppy" and had a little Dalmatian next to letters, which ran from top to bottom. Asuka had the word "princess" and a simple crown, Misato had "miso" and what appeared to be a bowl of miso soup, and finally, to match her pajamas, Rei had the word "blueberry" with a bunch of blueberries on a twig.

"What are these exactly?" Asuka asked.

"Sweaters." Mari said, pulling out her own pink sweater that said "cutie pie" with a felt pie next to it. "You wear them, princess."

"I'm aware of that, but these are ridiculous…" Asuka said.

"They aren't ridiculous, princess, I made them myself!" Mari said.

"Wait, what?" Shinji asked.

"Yeah, I bought the felt and made the letters and the cute little pictures." Mari said. "I was hoping we'd all wear them while we unwrap the presents."

"You really made them yourself?" Misato asked.

"Yeah, I just bought the materials and the sweaters." Mari said. "I've had them ready for a few weeks, I had to hide them from you guys!"

"Well shit…" Asuka muttered as she put her head down.

"I think it is quite adorable, Mari." Rei said.

"It's cute, Mari." Shinji said.

"But… will you wear them?" Mari asked.

Asuka looked up. "Of course we will four eyes."

"Well, at least it's my color." Misato said.

"Yay!" Mari said. "You guys are the best!"

"We try…" Asuka said as she pulled her sweater on.

As everyone pulled on their sweaters, Mari was beaming and grabbed the presents from under the tree.

"Ok, who wants to hand out their presents first?" Mari asked.

"Mine first." Misato said. "They're in the plain silver paper."

The kids took their gifts and opened them, and each of them received the same thing, cash.

"Thanks, Misato!" Mari said. "I love money!"

"This is quite a practical gift, thank you." Rei said. "I will use this well."

"Yeah, I can get anything I want now!" Asuka said excitedly.

"Thanks, Misato." Shinji said. "This was nice."

"Hey, don't be so nice about it…" Misato said. "I've been busy the last few weeks, and I didn't have time to find gifts for you guys… I just wish I could have gotten you guys actual gifts instead of this…"

"We do, Misato." Shinji said. "At least you put something together for us."

"Yeah, don't get so bummed out, Misato." Asuka said. "Cash is king after all."

"Awww, thanks you guys." Misato said.

"So, who's next?" Mari asked.

"Well, do mine." Asuka said. "They're in the snowflake paper."

Mari reached under the tree and handed out the gifts. Everyone opened up what Asuka had bought for them. Misato got a set of glowing shot glasses, Rei the "A Series of Unfortunate Events" box set, Mari got a pair of NERF Strongarm guns, and Shinji got a new set of earbuds and a large cookbook.

"Wow, Asuka, these guns are awesome!" Mari said excitedly. "Oh, I can't wait to shoot everyone!"

"Yeah, just avoid the eyes, Mari." Asuka said.

"Asuka, I have not read these books before." Rei said. "I believe I may enjoy them."

"Wow, Asuka… practical and useful." Misato said. "Can't wait to try them out."

"I knew you'd like them, Misato." Asuka said. "Sake for everyone!"

"Sounds like a plan!" Misato said happily.

"Hey, save the booze for New Year's." Mari said. "We can get wasted then."

"Not wasted, you're kids." Misato said. "One drink in celebration will be it for you."

"Eh, better than nothing." Asuka said.

"Why would you consume alcohol on New Year's" Rei asked.

"For fun, blueberry." Mari said as she noticed Shinji was still quiet. "Hey, puppy, why so quiet? Everything ok?"

"It's just these gifts are so nice." Shinji smiled. "Asuka, this is so kind of you…" Shinji said. "How did you know this is what I wanted? I mean this cookbook has recipes from all around the world, and these earbuds look really nice too…"

"I just… I just knew." Asuka said. "I'm a genius, remember?"

"Yeah, how can we forget the child prodigy in the room?" Mari said.

"Mari…" Shinji warned.

"Sorry, puppy." Mari said.

"Well, I'm glad you liked my presents, Shinji." Asuka said.

"Yeah, I hope you like what I got you." Shinji replied. "Hey, Mari, why not do my gifts next, they're in the purple and silver wrapping paper."

"Of course they are." Mari said. "This paper is totally something you'd use."

"Well, hand them out already." Asuka said.

Mari handed out Shinji's gifts. Misato unwrapped her gift to find a new dress like the one she wore on the first day Shinji and her met, along with the same sunglasses. Rei opened her own gift to find several books on astrophysics and astronomy, while Mari received a large amount of CDs and cassette tapes. Finally, Asuka opened her gift to see a stuffed monkey wearing a red bow on its head and holding two Game Boy cartridges, The Legend of Zelda: Link's Awakening and Donkey Kong.

"Shinji, this is really awesome!" Mari said. "I have months' worth of music here!"

"Yeah, I thought you might like that, Mari." Shinji said happily.

"Awww… Shinji!" Misato said happily. "You remembered that my clothes got ruined when we met…"

"Yeah, I thought I should replace them because it was my fault we got caught up in all the Angel stuff." Shinji said. "Plus it was the least I could do to repay you for saving me."

"You didn't have to do that though." Misato said. "It wasn't your fault."

"Well, consider it a thank you then." Shinji replied.

Misato smiled at him as she held the dress up. "Then I happily accept your thanks, Shinji."

"Shinji, these books are quite wonderful." Rei said. "I quite like these subjects, I believe these books will teach me a lot about space, thank you."

"You're welcome, Rei." Shinji said. "I'm glad you like them." Shinji looked over at Asuka, who was in a deeper shock than Shinji was previously. "Asuka, is everything alright?"

"Yeah, Shinji…" Asuka muttered. "It's just… this is so thoughtful of you…"

"Well, I remembered you had a stuffed monkey, so I thought he might like a girlfriend." Shinji said sheepishly. "And the games I saw and thought you might like them."

"Shinji… it's just so… thoughtful…" Asuka said. "Thank you so much…"

"You're welcome, Asuka." Shinji said. "So, what are you going to name the monkey?"

"Karla." Asuka said. "My monkey's name is Karl, so this will be Karla."

"Awww, princess, that's cute." Mari said.

"Four eyes, I'm adorable." Asuka retorted.

Mari chuckled. "Whatever you say princess." Mari then reached for the remaining gifts, which were from her, but paused, as she saw a sad look on Rei's face. "Hey, blueberry, what's wrong?"

"It is just that…" Rei said quietly. "I feel… inadequate for not bringing any gifts for you all… and you have all gotten me such wonderful presents… it feels wrong…"

Mari scooted over to Rei and wrapped her arm around her. "Hey, listen blueberry, you don't have to be ashamed about anything."

"Yeah, Rei, Christmas isn't about presents." Asuka said.

"It's about being together and enjoying each other's company." Misato said.

"It's also about sharing happiness and joy." Shinji said.

"Basically, it's about family and those you care about, blueberry." Mari smiled. "And you're a part of our little dysfunctional family. So don't feel bad, Rei, we're just glad you could be here."

"It's nice that you were able to come over, Rei." Shinji said. "We don't always get to see you."

"Yeah, that self–righteous…" Asuka started.

"Asuka…" Shinji warned.

Asuka glared at Shinji. "Bitch." Asuka smirked. "Akagi always keeps you for tests and shit, and you never get to have any fun."

"Oh, I told Ritsuko to leave Rei alone until after New Year's, as we had a team building exercise to do." Misato said. "She may be a Grinch, but she relented when I threatened to fucking prank her in her sleep."

"What would you have done?" Rei asked.

"No idea, it was an empty threat." Misato replied. "Still, she thought I might do something drastic, and it worked, and here you are."

"Well, I am quite appreciative, Misato." Rei said.

"So, put that smile back on so we can finish opening the presents." Mari said.

"Alright." Rei replied.

Mari handed out the last four presents, wrapped in iridescent pink foil. Rei opened her present to find the "Lord of the Rings" and "The Hobbit" box set, awhile Asuka was surprised with the Dragon Ball Z series and movies box set. Misato received some car wax and several shammies, and Shinji received two Pokémon plushies in the form of Arcanine, and Dragonite.

"Wow, Mari, thank you!" Misato said happily. "Now my car will always be shiny."

"Yeah, I thought your car should look its best all the time." Mari said.

"Mari, what are these books?" Rei asked.

"Oh… just one of the greatest fantasy series ever written." Mari replied. "Thought you might like the deep storyline in there beyond just what the main plot is about."

"I believe I will enjoy them…" Rei said as she opened the packaging to examine the books more thoroughly.

"Where did you find this?" Asuka asked. "This is all of Dragon Ball and Dragon Ball Z… and the movies!"

"Oh, and the TV specials too, princess." Mari said. "Some guy named Bardock, and Trunks I think? Weird names those people have though…"

"No shit…" Asuka said in disbelief. "Thanks Mari…"

"You're very welcome, princess." Mari replied. "So, puppy, still quiet I see?"

"Yeah…" Shinji said. "These are really cool… thanks Mari."

"I thought they could keep your Mewtwo company." Mari said. "But there's one more thing in that box, puppy."

"What?" Shinji asked.

"Look in the box, puppy." Mari said.

Shinji looked through the box and found what Mari was talking about, a new watch that had slid under some of the tissue paper inside the box.

"Mari, this is a really nice watch…" Shinji said. "Thank you…"

"You're welcome puppy." Mari said happily. "Now wasn't that fun everybody?"

"Yeah." Asuka said. "I had fun."

"So did I." Shinji said. "This was the best Christmas I can remember."

"I quite liked being here…" Rei said. "It was wonderful…"

"This was great, Mari, thank you so much." Misato said. "But now I have to go into work, I wish I could stay longer."

"But you'll miss dinner, Misato." Shinji said.

"I know, but I know you'll save me some." Misato replied as she went to her room. "Sorry guys…"

"It's ok, just tell any Angels we're off duty today and they'll have to come back later." Mari said.

"Yeah, that's a great tactic, maybe we'll try that on the Tenth Angel, if and when it shows up." Misato quipped as she went to her room.

"Well, blueberry, how was your first Christmas?" Mari asked.

"It was very enjoyable." Rei replied. "Thank you all for the wonderful gifts."

"You're welcome, Rei." Shinji said.

Asuka smirked. "No problem, wundergirl."

"So, Rei, you're coming over for New Year's Eve, right?" Mari asked.

"I would be delighted to come back for more celebrations." Rei said. "Will I stay over again like this time?"

"I don't see why not." Mari said. "It'll be fun though."

"Well, I'm going to get breakfast started." Shinji said as he stood up. "Then we can clean up the mess we made in here."

"I'll come and help you." Asuka said. "These two can clean up the mess."

"Sounds fair enough." Mari said. "What about the presents?"

"Stack them on the table, and we'll move them later." Shinji said. "We're eating in the kitchen, so they won't be in the way."

"Come on, Shinji." Asuka said. "I'm starving, so you need to cook fast."

Shinji smiled. "Alright, just help me get the ingredients, and the pans out, then I'll start." Shinji said as Asuka followed him to the kitchen while Mari and Rei began to clean up the mess of wrapping paper in the living room.


December 31, 2015 – Comfort 17 Apartments

It was New Year's Eve, and the four pilots and Misato were at the apartment once again, celebrating the end of the year.

"I'm so glad this year is almost over." Mari said.

"Yeah, it's been total shit." Asuka said. "Stupid fucking Angels have ruined everything."

"Yeah, you and Shinji almost died a couple times, Rei almost died at least twice, and I was able to skate death by not having my EVA in town, then all the blowing shit up and nuking the shit out of things that nukes don't work on… I mean shit, we're lucky to all be standing here in one piece. Imagine if more Angels had attacked this year and it all went tits up at the end? It'd be the end of the EVAs, and us!"

"In that perspective, things could have gone much worse than they did." Rei said.

"Well, it was still a shitty year anyway." Asuka said angrily. "So enough about the hypotheticals, Mari, we know it was shit year…"

"Hey, it hast been all bad." Shinji said.

"Of course you don't think so, baka!" Asuka said. "You have the highest sync score out of all of us!"

"Asuka, it's not that." Shinji said. "We all became friends this year, didn't we? You, me, Mari, Rei, and even Hikari, Toji, and Kensuke. We're all friends now. This time last year I was alone, and I'm glad I'm no longer alone, aren't you?"

"Well… yeah… I guess…" Asuka said. "I mean, it's nice to have friends again."

"I am very glad to have friends." Rei piped up. "Otherwise I would also be alone like Shinji mentioned, and it can be quite… lonely being alone."

"Truer words blueberry…" Mari said. "But enough sad talk, let's get ready to say goodbye to 2015 for fucking ever!"

"Here's to hoping next year will be better than this one!" Misato shouted.

"Yeah, no more Angels!" Asuka said. "We killed them all dead!"

"Yeah, peace and quiet sounds nice." Shinji said.

"I would like to not be in the hospital so much next year." Rei said.

"I second that!" Shinji said happily.

"Alright it's almost here!" Misato said looking at the clock. "10…"

"9…" Shinji said.

"8…" Mari said.

"7…" Asuka said.

"6…" Rei said.

"5…" Misato said jubilantly.

"4…" Rei said as she began to smile.

"3…" Mari said happily.

"2…" Asuka exclaimed.

"1…" Shinji said excitedly.


January 1, 2016 – Comfort 17 Apartments

"HAPPY NEW YEAR!" The group shouted.

Everyone hugged and cheered and then Misato fetched the glowing shot glasses Asuka had gotten her and poured everyone some sake.

"Alright, here's to a great 2016!" Misato shouted.

"Here, here!" Mari said as she took a glass.

Asuka grabbed a glass. "Yeah, let's hope 2016 is a kickass year!"

"I agree." Rei replied as she took a glass.

"Here's to a great year!" Shinji said as the all clinked glasses and drank to 2016.


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.

So to everyone out there reading, Merry Christmas (2016) everyone!

Timelines are very important to me! So, this one shot takes place roughly between Chapter 11 and Chapter 12 of Episode IV, based on the dates for it.

This one shot was originally entitled "First Christmas" but I decided that the title "A Very Mari Christmas" would be far more appropriate considering Mari bought and set everything up, like the awesome person she is. Her motives for this will be made clear at a later time of course.

Also, the addition of a New Year's segment was to round out the year and show at the beginning of 2016, leading up to Third Impact, everyone was happy and optimistic. However, this is Neon Genesis Evangelion after all, so not everything is going to turn out all fine and dandy, but they needed this moment to be happy in the long run… plus, it's Christmas after all!

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