Disclaimer: I do not own the characters, story or any of the rights to Neon Genesis Evangelion or End of Evangelion. This story is purely for fan appreciation and no money is being made from this story.

Setting: Set directly after the movie End of Evangelion so it is advisable that you have seen NGE in it's entirety and the movie EoE before reading this FanFiction.

Thank you and Enjoy!

After the End

To Need Another

"How Disgusting"

The sound of Asuka's voice, distant and bitter, broke through the layer of numbness in this new world.

Shinji's head was pressed into Asuka's chest, right under her breasts. His legs are spread, straddling her limp body that's melted into a sea of fine, white sand. She felt him on top of her now, an annoying weight, growing steadily heavier on her weak body. Shinji's face is raw from crying. He knows he should lift himself off of her but he can't find the strength to force his body to move. After several minutes he slumped to the side of her and crumpled next to her on the ground. Asuka can hear her own heart beating in her ears, she can hear her own breathing and Shinji's-both calm and even now. She felt as if her fingers on her right hand were being pricked with thousands of tiny needles. Her lips are chapped and her throat is dry.

"You know about everything… don't you?"

Shinji peered over at Asuka, barely tilting his head to see her face. She's staring up at the sky with a blank expression. He wondered for a moment if he might have imagined her having said anything at all.

"Yes," Shinji whispered back, his voice filled with regret.

They are both silent for several minutes-the sound of water crashing against a shore can be heard in the distance. Slowly Shinji sat up.

"A-Asuka...Asuka…I'm sorry."

Asuka moved her eyes to rest on Shinji. He's stared up at her and they make eye contact. After a moment of silence Shinji looks away, folding in on himself, his arms wrapping around his knees and his head burying inside of them. Asuka eventually pulled herself into a sitting position, groaning as she moved, her arms shaking as she forces herself upright. A strong pain shot through her right arm as she leaned on it, and she breathes in sharply through her teeth, exhaling loudly. She struggled to stand on her feet. She can barely stand once she's up, her legs incredibly weak from her time spent in comatose and the injuries she sustained before the impact. She grunts, attempting to walk, her kneecaps folded and her legs give out on her. She collapses onto the ground with a startled gasp, her arms catching her fall. Shinji stood up easily and moved over to Asuka, looking down on her. He puts out his hand, offering to help her stand. Hesitantly she takes it, and struggles again to get on her feet. Once she's up, Shinji put his arm around her body, supporting most of her weight and helped her walk to the edge of the shore. Once they're at the water's edge he lets go of her slowly, she falls onto the ground again, sitting upright. Before them is a very large, melting head of a familiar comrade-Rei Ayanami. Something about Rei's face looked off though, it looked slightly masculine in nature, making it appear androgynous. The face is like a huge corpse, rotting into the Red Sea that's melting it like acid. It's truly frightening.

As they stare out into the foaming red waters, their minds drift into previous events-Instrumentality-it feels like a dream. They have survived the gates of hell and come out on the other side, completely and utterly alone. Asuka becomes acutely aware of the annoyance of hunger subsiding in her abdomen through the general soreness plaguing her body, but she ignores it.

"Is this it...is this the end...to fight through hell to end up here?" Asuka wondered aloud.

Shinji looked down at her, feeling a pang of guilt as he stares at her broken body. He doesn't answer her.

Eventually, she decides the hunger is enough and gives into it, struggling again to get on her feet. Shinji gasps, shocking himself out of his trance and moves quickly to help Asuka up. She gives him a dirty look but regrettably accepts the help a second time.

"I have to eat," she announces. "I'm not dying a pitiful death after I've come this far."

Shinji realized then that he can't remember when he ate his last meal, though the familiar pain of hunger hadn't hit him yet.

Asuka attempts to walk on her own again, Shinji let her stumble about four feet away before rushing to her side to catch her fall. She grumbles about not needing his help while using his body to support herself. Asuka was not fond of the idea of needing to depend on Shinji for anything, much less a task as simple as walking.

As they walked Shinji had to wonder how Asuka was feeling at this moment-he had a lot questions running through his mind after what he learned from Instrumentality. He knew Asuka had to be feeling sorely humiliated. He felt guilty for what she'd seen during Instrumentality and wondered if she thought even worse of him now than she did before. She did seem uncharacteristically quiet though ever since reawakening on the beach.

They walked for what felt like hours but it was hard to get a grasp on time or reality for the sky never changed and their surroundings remained relatively similar in every direction-pure, white sand, red frothing water, huge corpse remnants of the supernatural beasts of Third Impact scattered along the coastline. The longer they walked the weaker and more irritable Asuka became. She started panting-breathing in and out so heavily she seemed to be getting dizzy and having difficulty holding herself up. Shinji tripped over a small dip in the ground, staggering but quickly regaining composure. Asuka groaned loudly, seeming to be clenching her teeth and in some amount of pain. Shinji took a step forward preparing to continue the journey, becoming quite hungry and irritable himself, frustrated at the unchanging landscape-they could be walking in circles for all he knew. As Shinji started to walk again Asuka cried out, losing her grip on Shinji and falling onto the ground. Her whole body crashes into the ground, landing on her bandaged arm, as she doesn't have the time to brace her fall. She moans in pain at the impact, and lays on the ground, motionless.

"Asuka!" Shinji grabs Asuka's good hand and pulls at it roughly, afraid if she stays down on the ground she'll give up and start succumbing to death. "We have to keep going Asuka-we can't stay here, we have to find food, we have to keep going…"

She mumbles something so quietly that Shinji has to ask her to repeat it.

"I said, shut up!" She repeats, louder, angrier.

Her voice sounds like she's on the verge of crying but also on the verge of exploding. Shinji stares down at her feeling frustrated himself, at the situation and at his growing hunger.

"Let me carry you," He insists.

Asuka seems surprised by such a bold statement from him.

"No, I can do this.. I have to walk on my own, I can't depend on you or you'll start thinking you have authority over me," She hisses.

"Asuka, you're weak.. you should be in the hospital recovering, but instead you're out here with me in the middle of nowhere trying to survive. You need to let me help you...please." Shinji couldn't believe his own words, no doubt it was the hunger he felt speaking.

Asuka curses in german, not wanting to accept the reality of the situation. Shinji bends down, fully prepared to be slapped, but instead easily gathers Asuka into his arms.

"Don't get any weird ideas," Asuka grumbles under her breath.

"I...I won't."

Shinji now has Asuka on his back, she's barely holding onto him, her eyes half closed. She's so hungry she's becoming nauseous. After sometime of walking they begin to notice they're approaching a black sliver of road on the ground, partially covered by sand. Shinji follows it in the hopes that it'll lead to something larger, like a house or a store. As he follows it the road begins to open up, becoming wider. He wonders, for a moment if he's walking onto a highway but he notices a black blob in the distance. He realizes it's a small building, now collapsed in on itself on one side. Shinji feels a glimmer of hope at the sight. He approaches it and climbs over the rubble in the doorway into the small building carefully. It looks like at one time this place was a convenience store-the interior walls of the building are lined with shelves with glass doors, some cracked or shattered. The floor of the store is littered with debris and large slates of what appears to be destroyed, wooden stocking shelves. Shinji lets Asuka down onto the ground, onto a cleared area of the linoleum floor. She sighs, exacerbated and lays down on her back, her left arm coming across her forehead to rest right over her eyes. Shinji is shuffling through the debris, digging, tossing fallen pieces of the structure of the place to the side of him. He sees something glimmering under the rubble in the very dim light from the full moon outside. He reaches down into the debris, relief washing over him at the feeling of a very familiar object under his hand. He pulls out a water bottle, covered in dust and cracks it open, drinking some immediately. It's not cold by any means, and the water tastes of plastic but as it fills his mouth it feels cool and sweet. He pulls it away from his mouth after only a few fast gulps, catching his breath. He turns, looking over at Asuka.

"Hey, it's not food but...it's something...don't drink too much though, we need to save as much of this as we can, who knows when we'll find clean water again."

He holds the bottle out to Asuka. She moves her arm away from her one good eye, peering over at Shinji. She huffs, and sits up as quickly as her body will allow her to. Shinji watches her take the bottle, pop the lid and drink it quickly. She has this disgusted look on her face, clearly not pleased with the stale, sour taste of the water, but at least the water is clear and not contaminated by LCL or blood. After she finishes she hands the bottle back to Shinji and wipes her mouth.

"Have you found any food?"

"Not yet...but I'm still looking."

"Hurry, I'm about to start losing my shit," Asuka growls.

Shinji puts the bottle down and keeps digging, starting to get frantic when he can't find anything but crumbs too small to gain any sustenance from. He walks around the store, growing weary at the unhappy realization that there's nothing they can eat here.

"What's taking so long?" Asuka asks, sounding agitated.

"I can't find anything," Shinji groans, becoming frustrated himself.

He wished Asuka weren't so weak and could be more helpful to him. He felt like he might as well have been alone, and that maybe if he were alone it would have been better because at least then he wouldn't have to share anything he did find or waste his energy carrying her.

"Seriously Shinji? We're in a food store and you can't find any food? Are you actually an incompetent idiot?" She barks.

"Well, I don't see you helping! Leaving me to do all the work and then complaining about the job I'm doing? I should leave you...I bet you won't last a few hours without me!" Shinji shouts, forcefully throwing the debris he was digging through against the wall.

He knew Asuka wouldn't admit to being too weak to help or incapable of doing something. She glared at him, with a look so intense it might have otherwise made him cower if the circumstances had been less dire. She pulled herself back up again, tightening her jaw to avoid crying out in pain. She looked furious.

"I don't need you!" She hissed through her teeth.

"Okay...fine!" Shinji, snatched the water bottle, turning for the exit. "Let's see how long you last without me then!" He stomps right through the door, leaving Asuka alone in the building.

Asuka watches him leave, her eyes narrowed. She laughs to herself, bitterly, knowing it wouldn't be long before Shinji came crawling back to her, helpless and lonely. Asuka turns her attention to the room, using her good arm to dig through the piles of rubble around her. After a few minutes of luckless searching she falls against a countertop, clutching her stomach in pain. She feels like gagging but there's nothing inside of her to vomit out. She's breathing heavily and cursing under her breath.

"Scheiße! Why do I have to be like this now? I hate this...I look so weak...I wish this damn body would just heal already, it's really pissing me off!"

Outside Shinji is stomping along the pathway, the building becoming a small grey, shadow behind him. His fist tightens around the water bottle he's holding, the thin plastic crackling loudly but not breaking under the pressure of his grip.

"Why does she always have to be so difficult?"

He turns around for a moment, walking backwards, staring at the black blur in the distance-the building he left Asuka in. He wonders for a moment if he made a good decision by leaving Asuka alone. Would she survive with her injuries? Maybe if things got desperate enough she'd seek him out or she'd die being stubborn. He had to turn his back on her, he had to move on.

If he let her control him he'd become her slave.

To Be Continued...