Neon Genesis Evangelion: Legacy
One Shot – How Asuka Saved Christmas


December 23, 2017 – Comfort 17 Apartments

Shinji was just coming home. He was very tired from a long day out shopping for Christmas, which, per Asuka's requires would be a "proper western Christmas complete with a normal dinner" as Asuka put it. Driving home was extremely taxing, and Shinji had trouble concentrating on the road, almost crashing three times on the way home, and as he got back to the house, he felt very weak. As he got to the front door, he was utterly exhausted. Shinji had to drag himself inside and to the kitchen and struggled to get the groceries on the counter.

Asuka and Mari were waiting for him inside as he got to the table and haphazardly placed the bags on the table. Asuka gave him a funny look and grabbed the groceries before they fell to floor.

"Baka, what's wrong with you?" Asuka asked as she got the bags firmly on the table. "You know this stuff is important."

"I'm just tired, Asuka…" Shinji muttered. "Sorry…"

Shinji suddenly began lose his balance and slowly slumped sideways, falling straight towards the floor. "Shinji!" Asuka and Mari cried as they dove to catch him, with Mari getting there just in time to keep Shinji from slamming his head on the floor.

"Shinji, are you ok?!" Asuka asked worriedly.

"Hey, wake up!" Mari said impatiently, but Shinji just laid there, unresponsive.

"I think we need to get him to the hospital." Asuka said.

"How?" Mari asked. "It'll take an ambulance forever to get here."

"I'll take the Kuga." Asuka said. "I can drive."

"You don't have a license yet!" Mari exclaimed. "I only let Shinji drive cause I know he drives safe!"

"What are you implying, four eyes?" Asuka asked angrily.

"Why are you both yelling?" Rei said as she walked into the kitchen. Her eyes widened when she saw Shinji on the floor. "Did one of you assault my onii–chan?"

"No!" Asuka said. "He just came home and collapsed!"

"Perhaps we should get him to the hospital." Rei said. "He looks very pale."

"But none of us can drive!" Mari exclaimed.

"Asuka is more than capable." Rei said. "If you wish you can stay behind, Mari, we can handle moving him ourselves."

"No!" Mari said. "I'm not leaving him!"

"Then shut up and hand me his keys." Asuka said. "And then someone can tell me where exactly the hospital is…"

"Yeah… very comforting…" Mari muttered breathlessly.

–––

Asuka, Mari, and Rei were all at the local clinic. It was closest thing to the house, and they didn't think dragging Shinji all the way to the hospital was the smartest idea. So, Shinji was lying in a bed in front them while they were waiting for a doctor to tell them the news. They all looked worried, and Mari was still white from the drive over, so she looked almost as bad as Shinji.

As the doctor walked over, a look of concern came across Asuka's face. "Hi there, Isshin Kurosaki, nice to meet you."

"Hello." Rei said.

"Hi…" Mari muttered quietly.

"Sorry to cut to the chase doc." Asuka said. "Is he going to be ok?"

"He should be fine." Dr. Kurosaki said. "He's come down with a rather nasty case of the flu."

"He what?!" Asuka shouted.

"Well, he must have had it for a few days." Dr. Kurosaki replied. "Has he been sleeping?"

"No, onii–chan's been busy getting ready for Christmas." Rei said. "He's been very focused on making it perfect."

"Well, he's run himself down quite well." Dr. Kurosaki said. "So, he'll need a few days rest and caring for and he'll be right as rain."

"Is that it?" Mari asked. "You can't give him something?"

"No, unfortunately we still haven't found cure yet." Dr. Kurosaki said. "But he should be back on his feet in a few days, not to worry."

"So, we can go?" Asuka asked.

"Yes, you're free to go." Dr. Kurosaki said. "Do you need help getting him out? I could get my son to help you…"

"No, we can handle it." Mari said. "But thank you."

"Not a problem." Dr. Kurosaki replied. "If he needs anything else, just come back."

"Yeah, let's hope not." Asuka said as the girls moved Shinji to the car.

"Have a nice day." Rei said as they left.

–––

Everyone was sitting very worriedly in the living room. They were all wondering how to salvage Christmas without Shinji being able to cook.

"So… we're fucked, right?" Mari asked. "Right in the down under…"

"No we're not, I can cook…" Misato started.

"NO!" Asuka and Mari shouted in unison.

"Hey, no need to be so damn mean about it…" Misato said.

"Well, we don't all want to end up like him, do we?" Mari asked.

"Hey, you guys don't cook any better." Misato shot back.

"No, I just know better than to offer." Mari said. "I'm not delusional about my cooking skills, miso…"

"Oh, will you two old biddies stop?!" Asuka shouted. "We're trying to fix Christmas, and you're having a pissing contest!"

"Well said, Asuka." Rei said calmly as the other two stared at Asuka.

"So, Rei, can you cook?" Asuka asked.

"No, I am not very good in the kitchen."

"Well, I can do it." Asuka said.

"Wow, here's someone else who's delusional." Mari quipped.

"I'm no delusional… I've just been watching Shinji cook a lot more." Asuka said. "I… I think I can handle it."

"That's a bad idea, princess." Mari said.

"Why?" Asuka asked. "I've really been paying attention. He even lets me help sometimes!"

"He must have had this flu for a while…" Misato muttered.

"Yeah, or he's losing his mind." Mari added.

"Hey, I'm not scared of trying again!" Asuka said loudly. "I actually understand how to cook Western food!"

"What happened last time?" Rei asked.

"A host of unfortunate accidents." Asuka said.

"You mean like setting a perfectly good rice cooker on fire… and then you know what happened." Mari said.

"Do we really need to…?" Asuka asked.

"We almost killed him!" Mari said exasperatedly.

Flashback

Shinji sat down and was presented a platter of onigiri, which looked nice enough and a plate of pork curry, with no rice.

"Why isn't there rice with the…" Shinji started.

"The rice cooker caught fire!" Asuka shouted.

"Asuka, I was only wondering…" Shinji said.

"Well, stop wondering and eat!" Asuka said angrily.

"Really, don't scare him princess." Mari said. "Don't worry Shinji, everything was cooked well, especially that last batch of rice."

Shinji looked at the food in front of him. "Well it all looks really good." Shinji said. "But how did exactly did the rice cooker catch fire?"

"Well, basically… we didn't put enough water in and when the moisture disappeared, it hated up and caught fire. We threw it off the veranda to save the apartment, which is why we smell like smoke and we're covered in soot." Mari explained.

"Alright… well I guess I'll get a new one tomorrow." Shinji said as he caught a scary look from Asuka. "But, I'll start with the curry."

Shinji took his knife and fork and attempted to cut the pork, and with some effort he cut through the tough brick of meat. He coated it with curry ad tasted it, realizing the pork was so overcooked, it was like chewing leather. The curry sauce was surprisingly well done to Shinji's delight.

"So, how was it?" Asuka asked.

"Um…" Shinji said nervously. "The curry was really good, but the pork…"

"What's wrong with it?" Mari asked.

"It's too tough… almost like leather." Shinji said. "How long did you cook it?"

"Oh, about a half hour in the frying pan." Asuka said.

"What?!" Shinji said. "That's way too long!"

"Oh, well sorry Iron Chef Shinji…" Asuka said snidely.

"Well, why don't you try the onigiri?" Mari asked. "I'm sure they're good!"

"What's in them? Any vegetables?" Shinji asked.

"No, one's bacon, one's sausage, and one's ground beef!" Mari said excitedly. "I seasoned the meat myself, and Asuka did the rice!"

"Ok…" Shinji said nervously. Shinji ok one of the onigiri at random, and took a big bite. Moments later, he regretting doing just that.

"WAAAAAHHHHHHH!" Shinji screamed. "HOT! HOT! HOT! I NEED WATER, WATER PLEASE! IT BURNS!"

Asuka and Mari both ran to get him water, and in their haste as they each ran back with a glassful, they slammed into each other, sending both glasses right at the back of Shinji's head, covering him in water and knocking his face into the table.

"OW!" Shinji exclaimed. "Guys, please, just let me get the water… you're hurting me more…" Shinji pleaded as Asuka grabbed another glass of water, and Mari checked to see if he was ok. Asuka handed him the glass of water and Shinji drank it in one gulp.

"It didn't help… it still burns…" Shinji moaned. "Mari, what was in the ground beef? Why is it so hot?" Shinji asked weakly.

"Oh, well let's see…" Mari said tapping her chin. "I used wasabi… parsley… basil… and what was it again? Oh yeah… something called shredded ghost pepper."

"What!?" Shinji exclaimed. "Why did you mix that all in?" Shinji asked. "You could have killed me! Ghost peppers are the spiciest thing on the planet!"

"Oh, I didn't know…" Mari said. "Sorry, it just smelled nice…"

"Well… they do but…" Shinji clutched his stomach. "Oh no…"

As Shinji jumped up from the table to run off, he clutched the table and grimaced before he let out a stream of bile from his stomach, effectively empting the contents of his stomach all over the table and kitchen floor, and running the food Mari and Asuka had prepared.

Shinji then promptly collapsed onto the floor, moaning.

"SHINJI!" Both girls screamed as they looked over the mess he made. Asuka sat on the ground and cradled Shinji in her arms, while Mari crouched down next to Asuka and looked worriedly at him.

"Shinji, what's wrong?" Mari asked worriedly.

"My stomach hurts… it's like its being twisted into knots…" Shinji moaned.

"Oh shit…" Asuka muttered. "We killed him…"

"No, not yet…" Mari said. "But close…"

"Mari, where there any other spices in there?" Shinji asked.

"No, just what I told you." Mari said.

"What about the rice?" Shinji asked weakly.

"Well, I washed it with a load of baking soda, then I cooked it with a load of salt…" Asuka said. "Is that wrong?"

"Yeah…" Shinji replied. "When you wash the rice, you just rinse it off really good… you don't actually wash it… didn't you two use the cookbook?"

"Well, it wasn't very specific…" Asuka said.

"Yeah, it just said wash." Mari said. "I suggested soap, but Asuka used baking soda instead."

"Thank god for that…" Shinji muttered. "How much salt did you use?"

"Well, I made six cups of rice, so I put in a cup of salt to be safe." Asuka said. "I thought it would taste nice."

"No, Asuka, all that stuff I think is what made me sick… that and the spices Mari used in the meat… ugh…" Shinji said.

"Oh…" Asuka said sadly. "Mari, go call Hikari… I don't think we should try to help anymore… we're kind of fucking useless…"

"No, you're not, it's just a couple mistakes…" Shinji said as he tried to smile.

"A couple mistakes don't just make someone thrown up and collapse, baka!" Asuka said angrily. "We made you throw up, we're fucking useless at cooking! I even set a rice cooker on fire! We should have never tried to cook for you! It was a stupid idea!"

"No, it was really sweet of both of you to try…" Shinji said. "I appreciate it, even if the final result was not what you had hoped for…"

"Wait, we almost kill you, and you're ok with that?" Asuka asked.

"Yeah, Shinji, you're not even a little mad?" Mari asked.

"How can I be mad when it came from such a kind place in your hearts?" Shinji explained. "That kind of thoughtfulness is wonderful, and can never be hated."

"Wow, he's clearly not feeling well." Mari quipped.

"You really are an idiot…" Asuka said. "Baka…"

End Flashback

"You really didn't have to remind me…" Asuka muttered.

"Well, you seem to have forgotten that the last time we cooked, we almost killed him dead." Mari said slowly. "I don't want to repeat the process with all of us."

"Look, we don't really have much of a choice." Asuka said. "Misato will kill us, you're too afraid, and Rei doesn't know how."

"That's not untrue." Mari said. "I guess we don't have a choice…"

"Why can't we just order out?!" Misato asked.

"Because, we're not having take–out for Christmas!" Asuka shouted. "I'm cooking and that's the end of it!" Asuka got up. "Now if you'll excuse me, I have a sick boyfriend to check on!"


December 25, 2017 – Comfort 17 Apartments

It was mid–morning on Christmas day and Asuka was in the kitchen prepping everything for dinner. After having spent the better part of the morning exchanging gifts, Misato left for NERV to deal with some paperwork and would be back later, and Rei took Shinji to his room to lay back down and keep an eye on him. Mari went off to her own room and went to relax, leaving Asuka alone to begin her dreaded task. She had a loads of raw food around her on the counters, and every bowl, pot, and pan out that she could find. On her left was the cookbook she'd bought Shinji several years ago, and was reading all the instructions very carefully.

"Well… this should be easy…" Asuka muttered a she started cooking. She heard Mari walk into the kitchen. "Go away Mari, I'm busy."

"Geez… I was only asking if you needed help." Mari said.

"I'm fine, just go check on Shinji." Asuka said. "He needs you more than I do."

"Ok…" Mari said. "You sure you got this?"

"Yep." Asuka said. "The instructions are nice and simple."

"Ok…" Mari said as she walked off.

As Asuka was about to begin cooking, her phone went off, and Asuka angrily answered.

"Hello." Asuka said tersely.

"Hi Asuka!" Hikari said happily on the other end. "Merry Christmas."

"Merry Christmas, Hikari." Asuka replied.

"How's the cooking coming along?" Hikari asked.

"I'm doing just fine." Asuka said. "I've got most of it prepped to go."

"Are you still sure you don't need my help?" Hikari asked. "I really don't…"

"I've got it." Asuka said.

"Ok, as long as you're sure…" Hikari said.

"Don't worry so much, it won't be a repeat of last time." Asuka said. "I learned a lot watching Shinji cook."

"Ok, good luck Asuka." Hikari said. "See you tomorrow."

"Yeah, see you tomorrow." Asuka replied as she hung up. "Why does everyone think I can't handle this? Time to prove them wrong…"
–––

Shinji was lying in bed. He was extremely tired and achy, and still had a minor fever, but was otherwise ok. Mari and Rei were in the room with him to keep an eye on him, and to distract him from Asuka being the one to cook.

"So… what's going on for dinner?" Shinji asked. "Are we ordering out?"

"Nope." Mari said. "Nothing that fancy."

"Then what are we eating?" Shinji asked.

"I believe you're having soup, onii–chan." Rei said. "You're still sick."

"No, I want to have dinner like everyone else." Shinji said. "And where's Asuka, she said she'd take of me."

"She's… busy." Mari said as they heard a crash in the kitchen.

"Mari… where is she." Shinji asked. "And what was that?"

"Nothing." Rei deadpanned. "You're imagining things."

"No I'm not, that crash came from the kitchen!" Shinji said. "Is Asuka cooking? She can't cook, not after the last time… she promised!"

"Hey, Shinji, relax." Mari said. "She said she's got this, so don't worry."

They heard another crash from the kitchen and flurry of curse words in English, Japanese, and German fly from Asuka's mouth in rapid succession.

"Something tells me it's not going so great…" Shinji muttered. "If I could just…"

Mari and Rei got up and pinned Shinji to the bed.

"No, puppy." Mari said. "She's got it… and you or any of us interrupt her, she'll slit our throats."

"She didn't say that…" Shinji said. "Did she?"

"She threatened us all with that." Rei said. "I believe she wants to prove she can cook. She says she's learned a lot from watching you."

"She has?" Shinji asked. "I just thought she wanted to spend time with me…"

"Well, it's flattering that she learned so much from watching you, onii–chan." Rei said. "Is that the right word?"

"Yeah, it is Rei." Shinji said. "But, she's sure? I haven't really showed her anything though."

"She says she is." Mari said. "We'll just wait and see. And if it goes tits up, we can always order take–out."

"Based on the last time, if it goes tits up, we're not going to have enough toilets for what's to come." Shinji said.

"Onii–chan, that's not very nice." Rei said. "Asuka is working very hard to try and fix Christmas for us… it's very sweet."

"It is but… I just don't want her to get upset if she fails." Shinji said. "She was so upset the last time… I wouldn't want her to blame herself like that again."

"Shinji, think of it this way." Mari said. "If she fucks up, offer to teach her… and if she doesn't, ask for sex. It's a win–win."

"Not sure how that's a win–win." Shinji said.

"Neither am I…" Rei muttered.

"Either way, Shinji looks great. He either showed her how to cook, or he's willing to teach her… but the sex is a bonus if she does everything right."

"It's always about sex with you." Shinji said.

"Life is all about sex." Mari said. "Without it, none of us would be here."

"Well, right now, I'm more concerned about how Asuka's doing than about sex." Shinji said. "Can one of you go check on her, please?"

"I will go surreptitiously check on her." Rei said. "If it will put your mind at ease."

"It would." Shinji said.

"Then I will be back momentarily." Rei said as she got up and left. A few moments later, Rei returned with a smile on her face. "I don't believe you have anything to worry about, onii–chan." Rei said. "It all looks fine."

–––

When Asuka had called everyone to dinner, they were all exceedingly nervous. As they all sat down, Asuka eyed them all suspiciously. When everyone looked at the food around them, they were all quite shocked. Everything on the table looked perfect. The sausages Asuka had made looked plump and juicy, the ham had a wonderful glaze to it, and the turkey was a nice golden brown. The potatoes, vegetables, and some food made especially for Rei's unique diet even looked delicious. Shinji looked over at Asuka with a slack jawed expression on his face.

"A… Asuka, this is… wonderful!" Shinji said. "It all looks so…"

"Edible?" Mari asked.

"Tasty?" Rei asked.

"Normal?" Asuka asked.

"Delicious!" Shinji said. "How did you… I mean…"

"Were you worried about me, baka?" Asuka asked.

"Well, after last time… I just wasn't sure." Shinji said. "I shouldn't have doubted you as much as I did though."

"Well, I had a good teacher." Asuka said.

"How though? I never showed you anything." Shinji said.

"Watching you really helped me." Asuka said. "And then the rest came from the cookbook. I was real careful to read everything two or three times… to be safe."

"Well, it all looks good." Shinji said. "Can we start?"

"No, we should wait for Misato." Rei said.

"Tadaima!" Misato called out.

"Looks like we don't have to wait long." Asuka said. "We're at the table, Misato, hurry up!"

"Wow… that smells great!" Misato called back. "What the hell happened in here?!"

"Don't worry about it!" Asuka called. "Mari and Rei will clean up later."

"What happened where, Asuka?" Shinji asked.

"Oh… well, funny story…"

"Oh, here we go…" Mari said. "What did you do, princess?"

"The food may look great, but the kitchen is kinda like a warzone…" Asuka said. "I made a bit of a mess…"

"That's an understatement." Misato said as she sat down. "Third Impact was less destructive… but… uh… Asuka you did all this?" Misato pointed at the food. "I mean… wow…"

"Yep, all on my own." Asuka said. "And none of you thought I could do it, did you?"

"Nope." Misato said quickly.

"No." Mari said bluntly.

"I had faith, Asuka." Rei said.

"I won't lie, Asuka, I was worried." Shinji said. "I'm just glad I was worried for nothing."

"Well then… dig in everyone, food's not just for looking at." Asuka said. "I want to know what everyone thinks of the taste!"

As everyone began serving themselves and tasting the food, they all looked pleasantly surprised.

"Wow, Asuka, you did a great job." Shinji said. "Thank you for… well, thank you for doing this."

"It wasn't easy, but I'm just glad I was able to do something seeing as you were sick." Asuka said.

"Damn, this is good!" Mari exclaimed. "So glad you did this!"

"Yeah, thanks Asuka." Misato said with her mouth full.

"The eggplant is very good, Asuka, thank you."

"You're welcome everybody!" Asuka said. "And Merry Christmas!"


January 1, 2018 – Comfort 17 Apartments

After such a successful Christmas dinner, everyone had gone to bed stuffed. Shinji even felt better after Asuka's home cooked meal, so much so, Asuka offered her own thank you to him for showing her so much. However, on Boxing Day, a holiday Mari had heard about from her time in England, things did not go well in the Katsuragi household. Even though Shinji was feeling normal again with his fever having broken, everyone else was not so lucky. They had all caught his flu and were now bedridden with only Shinji to care for them. And in the week since, there flu symptoms had not improved very much, in fact they'd gotten worse. So, Shinji was the only one that could care for them, and he was currently in with Asuka, and she was trying her best not to be upset.

"Baka…" Asuka muttered. "Why can't we have a normal New Year's for once?"

"I don't know, Asuka." Shinji said. "I think this year is way better than last year's."

"Don't be cute." Asuka said. "I mean it… I don't want to be sick…"

"I said I was sorry." Shinji said. "I didn't think everyone would get sick."

"Yeah, well, it happened." Asuka said. "But at least we had a nice donner to throw up the next morning…"

"Yeah, I know." Shinji said. "But I'm just glad it wasn't the food that made everyone sick."

"Why?" Asuka asked.

"Because, that means you can cook now too." Shinji said. "I don't have to do it alone anymore."

"Hey, baka, don't get any ideas, got it?" Asuka said. "That was a onetime thing… emergencies only."

"Asuka, come on, I could really use your help with the cooking." Shinji said. "It's stressful being the only cook here."

"Really?" Asuka asked.

"Yeah… but maybe I can still show you things too if you help." Shinji said. "Like how to not wreck the kitchen in the process."

"Hey, that wasn't intentional ya know." Asuka said defensively.

"Yeah, but it still took me two days to clean up all on my own seeing as you guys were sick." Shinji said. "Thankfully nothing was accidently set on fire…"

"Is anyone ever going to let me live that down?" Asuka asked.

"Probably not." Shinji said. "I am really proud you pulled that off, Asuka."

"Stop telling me that!" Asuka exclaimed. "I wasn't looking for praise… I just didn't want another ruined Christmas… that's all…"

"Asuka, that's really sweet." Shinji said. "It's almost like your heart has grown two sizes too big or something…"

"Oh, very funny Cindy Lou Who." Asuka quipped. "Now stop teasing me and make me feel better."

"Well, I don't think I can, besides giving you ibuprofen to bring own your fever and stop the aching." Shinji said.

"Mien Gott, this sucks." Asuka said. "How bad was this when you had it?"

"At times I just wanted to die." Shinji said. "But that'll pass… eventually."

"Oh, what fun…" Asuka muttered. "And this stupid thing made me miss New Year's too… this sucks so hard…"

Shinji kissed Asuka on the forehead. "Don't worry, you'll be fine soon enough, and you'll be immune to this strain of the flu." Shinji smiled. "Besides, you didn't miss anything, we were all asleep, and it's not so bad sleeping through the New Year, is it?"

"Yes it is, we're supposed to party!" Asuka replied. "And being immune to one billion and one other strains of this is a good thing?" Asuka said sarcastically. "Just try not to get us all sick again, ok baka?"

"I promise, Asuka." Shinji said. "Now, I'll be right back with some soup, ok?"

"Hurry back, I'm hungry!" Asuka said. "And thank you, baka, for taking care of me. You'd make a pretty good doctor."

"I'm not that good, Asuka." Shinji said. "I'm just glad I can help."

"You're so modest, Shinji." Asuka said. "Just something else to love about you."

As Shinji left his own room with Asuka in bed to get the soup started, he heard three other people shout miserably for him to help them.

"Oh boy…" Shinji muttered as he tried to figure out where to go first. "What a way to ring in the New Year…"


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, Happy New Year (2018) everyone!

Timelines are very important to me! So, this one shot takes place in the large gap between Episode VI and Episode VII, roughly a year after the Battle of the Geofront, and the end of Rejected Third Impact. The title is a reference to How the Grinch Stole Christmas, though instead Asuka saves it by cooking in poor Shinji's stead.

The incident referred to several times by everyone in the chapter is the third one shot I did under the NGE: Legacy – One Shots story titled Cooking Frenzy. Asuka and Mari decide if Shinji can cook, it can't be that hard, and attempt to it themselves, only to spectacularly fail by somehow setting a rice cooker on fire and nearly killing Shinji with what they had made. So, the hesitation on Mari's part, and Asuka's own nerves can be explained by that one, serious incident.

But Asuka pulls it off, while trying desperately not to cause the same things as last time. After having watched Shinji cook for a year, and using his trusty cookbook, she But Asuka pulls it off, while trying desperately not to cause the same things as last time. After having watched Shinji cook for a year, and using his trusty cookbook, she makes a very delicious, traditional European Christmas Dinner, or some variation of that tradition, complete with enough food to feed them three times over.

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