These were the three feelings that defined Asuka Langley Soryu. It was December 4th, 2015, and for the first time since before the Second Impact, snow fell from the ashen skies of Tokyo-3. To many of the residents, the snow brought heeding of fortunate times after the endless drawl of Tokyo summers.

Not to her.

Wintertime only brought back the worst of memories. The ones you try so hard to forget; the kind that come to you every night before you sleep. They were the kind that infiltrated the deepest reaches of your slumber, forcing you awake at erratic times of the night. When most people would be recanting the joyous times of holiday cheer, Asuka would be curled up in her bed.

The nightmares coupled with her constant shivering plagued her rest-times. Asuka turned her head to the dim lighting of her red alarm clock.


Another sleepless night was passing by.

She desperately curled herself into a horizontal fetal position under her sheets, trying to conserve any hint of warmth left in her small frame. Unfortunately, it was no use. All the blankets in the house were thin, seeing as how thick blankets had no use in such a normally hot environment.

Her 14th birthday was technically today, meaning that she was getting closer and closer to becoming a real adult. She had been mentally counting the days when it would happen, but she simultaneously dreaded it.

On December 4th, 2004, Asuka excitedly dashed through the halls of the hospital she had grown accustomed to. She had just received the best news of her life, that she was chosen to be an exclusive pilot, one destined for greatness. It was the second best birthday present she could ask for. She pushed the final door open, and it only took seconds for her still-developing mind to register that the birthday present she wished for most was never going to come true.

That confirmation came in the form of bedsheets tied to the ceiling.

Bad memories always found a way back to her.

She promised to herself that she would never cry again.

But so many times had the young German girl secretly pried for attention, anything or anyone to help her, comfort her, and just to hold her. But no one ever showed her such luxury. Everyone left her. Abandoned her. Tossed her aside. They didn't want her. They didn't need her. So she convinced herself that she didn't need them.

Pain was her only familiar friend. Pain motivated her to become the best she could be, someone who had to be indispensable. For that, she wouldn't fail. She wouldn't falter. Asuka promised herself that.

But she was still alone. The part of her mind that stated independency was often interrupted by feelings of loneliness. She would never admit it. She didn't need anyone.

But the charade was falling.

She wanted- no, needed someone. Someone who understood her. Someone who could see the real her, the one that she buried under the mask and behind the walls.

Asuka mechanically rose from her bed without thinking, tossing aside the flimsy covers. She was mentally and physically exhausted and still freezing cold thanks to her stubborn insistence on wearing light bed-wear. She grabbed her arms as they were exposed to the sudden, uncovered chill of the night. She drowsily lurched across the short hallway to the door of another occupant and quietly slid open the door.

The brown-haired boy was dead asleep with his precious S-DAT still unconsciously clutched in his hands. Unlike her, he looked so peaceful and warm in his sleep, something Asuka deeply envied. Any remaining thoughts left her mind as she carefully entered the threshold of the room, softly closing the door behind her. She slid under the warmed sheets, taking extensive care not to wake Shinji.

The warmth of the Third Child was definitely not unwelcoming to Asuka as she curled up on her side so that her back faced his. She promised herself that she would only be there for a few hours and would leave before he woke up.

She wasn't good at keeping promises.

The sun peaked through the clouds of Tokyo-3, illuminating the once-dreary, snow-covered landscape with gorgeous rays of light.

Shinji rolled over in his futon as he awoke with a yawn. His senses started trickling back to him, and his first sense involved the unfamiliar feeling of something leaning against his back. The second sense involved him looking over his shoulder to confirm that there was a surprise visitor in his bed, shivering from the suddenly-withdrawn covers.

His mind had a difficult time processing information in the morning, but even it could comprehend this situation. He tenderly pulled the covers back over her, which appeared to cease her shaking.

"Happy birthday, Asuka," he very gently whispered as he carefully maneuvered around the sleeping redhead. When he quietly left his room to get ready for the day, Shinji didn't notice the small smile that spread across slender lips as the girl snuggled back into the warm sheets.

For the first time in ten years, Asuka Langley Soryu finally had a good dream.

A/N: For the sake author's laziness, just pretend that the return of the Angels is in limbo. This cute little story was too short for me to justify anything about them, so just deal with it. Also, to those who would complain that what Asuka and Shinji did was OOC, then yeah you're probably right. I wrote this during a sad night at 3am so I apologize if it's too WAFFy for Evangelion ¯\_(ツ)_/¯